Many of us, including myself, sometimes seem born to ramble. But when you’re writing, why waste twelve words on something you could have said in six?
Perhaps this isn’t the best pet peeve to mention before NaNo (Padding 101), but waiting until later to mention it isn’t going to make it any less annoying.
An example of what I’m talking about:
Word Wasting: He walked past the rather old and run down establishment and his face showed something akin to satisfaction as he took possession of another traveler’s wallet.
Being Specific: He smirked as he took the young man’s wallet.
Mention the building if you must, but there are still many more direct ways of saying what you want to say.
Be direct. Be specific. Yes, there is something to be said for poetic prose, but not in every single sentence.
Do we really need to discuss this?
Apparently some of us do, because the only reason I come up with these pet peeves is because I’ve seen it in a book I’m reading (or online).
Tenses in writing determine what words you use when you are writing. It decides whether you say:
“I finished with my work.”
“I finish with my work.”
“I will finish with my work.”
To make things simple, let’s not talk about future tense. An entire book written in future tense would be annoying.
It’s perfectly acceptable (if you do it well) to switch tenses from one in one scene to another in the next. Or to even do it mid-scene if you have a present tense work and write in a flash back.
However, one thing you don’t do is switch tense in mid-sentence! How can you expect anyone to read like that when you’ve put:
I am being tricked, but it was all okay. He likes me.
“I’m okay,” I said. I feel like I am floating right now, even though he was also making me a bit angry.
Don’t do that. It’s annoying. Stay in the same tense, at least while you’re still within one sentence. And proof read!