Today’s post comes to us from Christina Ledbetter. Aside from being a professional blogger, she’s also an avid reader. With all of the great material on the market, an author only has a few short moments to make a lasting impression on a reader to convert them from window shopper to customer to potential lifelong fan. Don’t disappoint your potential readers! Here are a few points to consider when writing your book description and the content at the beginning of your work that will serve as the preview or sample slice of your writing.
Bad Writing, Multiple Exclamation Points, and Other Annoyances
I realize there are people out there who, upon reading the first sentence of my ramblings, screw up their faces as if smelling something decaying. That said, I don’t claim to have any major authority here as a writing expert. But as a reader? I’ve got crazy authority, because I buy and read a lot of books. Below, some things that make me keep a book sample just that, a sample.
5 Writing “Techniques” to Make me Screw up My Face in Disgust as I read a Book Sample
One punctuation mistake. One and I’m done. I started a book just yesterday and after one misplaced comma, I quietly clicked the beckoning X in the corner of my screen and went on my way. On blogs I give (and require) some grace. In a book? None.
A character who is furious within the first three pages. I don’t like any character enough to care if they’re furious. Please provide me someone in a minor predicament instead, or a large one, as long as some dude isn’t raging on page one. A few months ago I encountered this, and even though I knew the author and really like the guy, I couldn’t make myself finish his book.
More than one exclamation point at the end of a sentence. I believe this falls under point 1, above, really, but for those who think it’s perfectly acceptable to place two to fourteen exclamation points after a string of words, you must know right now that in a professional writing setting, it’s so annoying I’m going to slap you. Using them in a blog? Fine. E-mails? Sure! Books? Don’t you even go there.
A overly passionate, happy relationship. Why? Because I already know what’s happening next: One of them is about to get killed. You can kill as many people as you want in your book, I just better not be able to guess it ahead of time.
The word “unceremoniously” used more than once. Unceremoniously is a perfectly acceptable word. Use it more than once in three pages though and I’m going to suspect you’ve got a wee vocabulary. Same goes for any oddball word you use less than once a year in everyday speech.
Okay, okay, I’ll jump off my high horse now. While I’m doing that, you sign up for your Kbuuk account. Okay?!!!!!!!!!