Let’s be honest: it’s hard breaking habits, especially when it comes to bad writing habits. Writing is a career that requires a lot of self-motivation. In other words, it’s the perfect breeding ground for procrastination, distractions, and a world of other bad writing habits stalling your time to write.
But there’s hope! The best way to break bad writing habits is to first recognize that 1) you have them and 2) put forth the conscience effort needed to protect your time for writing. Here’s what I consider the three worst writing habits—and how to break them.
If you want to know how to be an author, it starts with the habits of professionalism that will carry you through a career. Treat your writing like you would any other job. You need a set schedule, you need a process, you need to improve, and you need to treat your coworkers (editors, agents, other writers) with respect.
Horror is a genre of literature or film that wants to evoke fear, shock, and suspense. Characters battle for their life versus a fate worse than death.
What makes a good horror story is the ability to tap into our deepest fears and deliver them in a captivating way. Even if you don’t consider yourself a horror writer, practicing a few short stories in this genre can help you understand human fear and the way it motivates action.
You’ve probably heard this one before: Your character must change throughout the course of your story. Characters need to transform.
I see a lot of confusion over this concept. Writers can normally nail the change (weak to strong; bad to good; cynical to optimistic) but it often comes from a weird place that doesn’t sit quite right with what we know about the protagonist. Or it’s too big of a change (or too much of a “fairy tale ending”) to be believable.
Writers think that great characters need drastic changes, but this isn’t always the case.
Let’s take a look at how writers should deal with character change, and how creating a character arc might make for a more interesting cast and plot.
Names — character names or the names of people in real life — are a big deal. Parents-to-be pore over baby name books for months looking for that “perfect” name. Even naming a pet can take time. You want the name to be perfect, to mean something, to be unique but not too “weird.”
Naming a character, especially in a longer piece of writing, can be just as agonizing and is definitely just as important.