Things You’ve Noticed In Your Writing

  • Audrey T

    Audrey T (6730)

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    Those of us who write frequently have probably noticed some patterns in our writing (whether it be in description, structure, word choice, vocabulary…) Is there anything you’ve noticed with your writing? Do you think it’s bad thing? Or is it more development of your own voice/style/signature as a writer.

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    I’ll go first, since I created the thread. :) So there!

    After going through my work, I see that I usually end a story/chapter with either one line or a sentence beginning with and.

    *I also start a lot of sentence with and.
    .:
    Swagger
    - He doesn't even look up at her this time; he just keeps pushing until her desk hits the wall.
    .:
    Varicose Fangs
    - "There's bleach in the kitchen."
    .:
    Perpetual Guilt
    -"Okay."
    - And Annelle had the distinct urge to club him over the head.
    .:
    Pete
    - My father didn't let touch the car for a week.
    - If it could happen to them, it could happen to us.
    - And I suppose it only made things worse.
    - " 'S too fucking hot for this."
    .:
    Awkward
    - And Benny almost smiled at that.
    - She only called once before the door opened and a mess of black hair tumbled in.
    March 9th, 2010 at 09:02pm
  • carcinogenic.

    carcinogenic. (250)

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    Aahh, thank you for making this thread! I'm so interested in this stuff. :]

    I'll probably come back and add to mine, but off the top of my head...

    Probably the most reccurrent thing in my work is my themes; since at this point I'm just posting on mibba, I feel that I have a lot of freedom to explore the things that interest/disturb me the most, and so the same themes appear in a lot of my work. There are usually mentions of child abuse and pedophilia, religion, trust, manipulation... Also, I write a TON of "roadtrip" stories, where the characters are constantly travelling from place to place, usually motels. I have a lot of reccurring symbols, too; I know there's always a mention of roadkill, generally deer. :/ Stylistically, I guess it's pretty obvious... heavy description, long sentences mixed with fragments. I like using flat tags, like "Bob says" in first person, to show a sort of...flatness my characters have in their social relations, if that makes any sense.

    ...I'll edit later with more, or at least to cap this off. Hopefully other people will post, too; like I said, I eat these things up. :3
    March 9th, 2010 at 09:18pm
  • Siriano;

    Siriano; (100)

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    I do a lot of first person, slash, and I use a lot of -ing. A lot of -ing.

    “Where are we going?” he croaked, setting himself up on the bed, pulling away the covers.

    My fingers pressed against the radio buttons, flipping through the stations at least twice before I settled on the station I was already listening to.
    March 9th, 2010 at 09:32pm
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    I noticed that I tend to reference playgrounds in my work. Carousels, merry-go-rounds, swings, etc. I'm not sure why.

    I also tend to not tag dialogue. I do tag, and more often in other stories. But if I ever go to edit tags there generally aren't a lot of tags.

    I'm sure, like Liz, I'll be back to add more.
    March 9th, 2010 at 10:27pm
  • loverfayce.

    loverfayce. (105)

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    Incomplete sentences. At least, that's what Word tells me. File

    Paragraphs that sort of sound like lists, or a series of sentences that start the same.
    Spun Down.:
    - He was never cold with me. He was never angry with me. He never walked away.

    - Jeremy achieved happiness by forgetting and ignoring. Because of it, he turned a lot of blind eyes. Because of it, he had no regrets. Because of it, he could apologize at a moments notice. Because of it, he could take an insult. He could take a punch. And he could smile about it the next day.

    Because of it, he could live.
    Kiss You Goodnight. (unposted):
    - For five nights in a row I’ve sat, making up excuses for myself. No, he twitched. No, his breathing changed just there. No, he’s getting up in an hour and I want to be long gone. No, no, no, no, no.

    - Now this is the place I’m leaving. Leaving behind the stacks of books, the candles that we never lit, the layer upon layer of ugly Oriental rugs from when Danny had worked at that secondhand carpet store.

    - No cover, though it wasn’t like Danny kept those anyways. No markings. Perfect condition.
    Also, between stories, I tend to take one vein of a story I've just finished, change it a little, and use it as a plot for a new story. It's weird, because I always feel like I'm writing the same thing, but… I'm not, because it's completely different.
    Does that make sense? XD

    Oh, and I abuse …'s. I feel like they generally get neglected in most writing, so I try to make up for it. tehe
    March 9th, 2010 at 10:54pm
  • This.Useless.Heart.

    This.Useless.Heart. (115)

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    I know I've observed many random things, but right now all that comes to mind is my tendency to make chapters almost entirely dialogue. Facepalm That's not always a good thing, even if I do love to write it.
    March 9th, 2010 at 11:03pm
  • Jinxeh

    Jinxeh (805)

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    I use the words "somewhat," "rather," and variations of "slight" way too much. It's a habit I try to break myself of, but I slip up like...a lot.

    Also, I abuse commas so badly; they're practically cowering in corners with black eyes, by now. Same with semicolons...
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:02am
  • OneTruth

    OneTruth (110)

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    I use death waay too much. Everything else in life always seemed very ordinary...

    I also use lots of water, fog, and 3 letter sentences. I tend to avoid dialogue like the flu, my prose is way more natural.
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:54am
  • Odysseus

    Odysseus (100)

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    When I'm really writing, I use a shit-load of commas and semi-colons. Like, honestly it's not even funny. And I always use --'s to add on to my sentences, all the time.

    "He didn’t know which one he was – a creature, or a kid."
    "Now, Vlad has known Damien a long time – they were of a small group of kids that were here at the school from the very beginning."
    "She was short – well, compared to him, almost everyone was short."
    "He was happy – as happy as he could get, at least – that there was something different, the day wasn’t as dull anymore."


    And so on.

    I've also notice that whenever anything is wooden - be it a tree or a door or a staircase - it's always oak. They are always standing by the oak tree, the door is made of oak, the church made of oak, and pretty much everything is made of oak. I read through it and I'm like, "Where did all this oak come from?" because I don't even realize it when I'm writing.

    I also write a lot of banter. I write a lot of dialogue, and it's always some sharp banter that the characters have. I hardly ever use tags, because you can tell who's speaking.
    Quote
    “Oh shut up, you know what I mean. Do you really think girls care if you’re a little overweight?”

    “Don’t they?”

    “Well…”

    “Just admit it, they do.”

    She shook her head, “Not all of them.”

    “But a lot of them.”

    “So you shouldn’t generalize.”

    “This is getting nowhere.”

    She snorted, “You’re telling me.”
    And my descriptions are always very simple. Unless if I'm really trying to work on description, it always comes out at the bare minimum. I'm more of a dialogue writer, and I often tell, not show. Which I am working on, but it's how I write. Most of my one-shots like "If This Were a Movie" and "Blueberry Muffins" are nothing but dialogue and very, very little description.
    March 10th, 2010 at 12:59am
  • chum

    chum (100)

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    After dialogue, I usually have the character do something, too, like shifting or sighing or stuff like that. I use a lot of -ing verbs.

    From my story Monsters:

    “What the hell happened to you?” Mina questioned bluntly, pressing a washcloth against his bleeding lip, her eyebrows pushing together beneath a layer of thick hair.

    I use semi colons, commans, and hyphens a lot, as well.

    From my story Sometimes:

    It was like she thought that buying a place of her own—without Dad, without the city around us and without any restrictions—would make her into something that she hadn't been before, or that I would drop at her feet and love her for moving me away from my friends, and my city, and my home.

    There are a bunch more that I've noticed, I just don't feel like listing them right now. tehe
    March 10th, 2010 at 01:14am
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    Remy LeBeau:
    I've also notice that whenever anything is wooden - be it a tree or a door or a staircase - it's always oak. They are always standing by the oak tree, the door is made of oak, the church made of oak, and pretty much everything is made of oak. I read through it and I'm like, "Where did all this oak come from?" because I don't even realize it when I'm writing.
    Not trees, but I almost always have mahogany wood in my stories.
    March 10th, 2010 at 01:58am
  • loverfayce.

    loverfayce. (105)

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    Adding on to the wood thing. tehe

    Subconsciously, when I'm describing something that the character spend a lot of time at, I make it sort of… resemble them. Like in this one-shot I've been working on, the girl, Lisa, always sits on a wooden wicker chair, because her nerves and mind are tangled and frayed, like the wicker.
    I'm just analyzing my own writing now, but it's true. Same for Cassidy and Jeremy's oak tree in Spun Down; it's like what they want their relationship to be like.
    March 10th, 2010 at 02:05am
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    I use variations of the word "desperation" a lot.

    When I mention a movie by name it's generally Disney or Star Wars. I tried to stay away from the obvious cult films, like Edward Scissorhands and such. And then it became a habit.

    And lately, almost everything I write is present tense.
    March 10th, 2010 at 02:12am
  • chromatose

    chromatose (100)

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    almost always present tense. even when i'm not, i usually slip into present because i'm so used to it.
    March 10th, 2010 at 02:25am
  • Audrey T

    Audrey T (6730)

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    Noticed that I don't use a lot of physical description (descriptions of objects in space), but I often veer off topic long enough to describe things that aren't too important in the story.

    There's a bit in Perpetual Guilt and in Volatile about coffee, and it's not important to the story at all.
    Perpetual Guilt:
    After she’d brought him his ‘coffee’ - some weird concoction with chocolate syrup at the bottom and chocolate mint chips and raspberries topped with whip cream and four shots of espresso – he prattled on about the many different types of coffee beans in the world.
    Volatile:
    And yet, there sat Nathan and Cameron, chattering their miserable existences away over a cup of coffee; coffee which was drowned in hazelnut creamer and several packets of sugar; ruined coffee; hardly-coffee-at-all coffee.
    March 10th, 2010 at 02:33am
  • rosewater tide.

    rosewater tide. (130)

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    I tend to say *insert words*, seeing as *insert words* a LOT.

    I don't even know why. XD
    March 10th, 2010 at 04:14am
  • fleur de lisbon

    fleur de lisbon (100)

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    I am so self-conscious about using a dash ("-") to connect sentences. I'm pretty sure I do it a lot.

    Also, I think insert "as" way too much.
    March 10th, 2010 at 05:41am
  • isangelical.

    isangelical. (100)

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    I start every story/chapter/etc. with a one-liner. Always and always before the first paragraph. The next few lines or paragraph will be describing or enhancing the first line.
    Silver:
    The sunlight shines silver.

    The sunlight filtering into the ruby and azure bedroom through the curtains shines silver, and that isn’t the most peculiar aspect of this day.
    Bitterbitter:
    There is silence.

    Of pure anticipation, the silence is made of something insinuating that Tom is wrong.

    It insults him, it puts him down, and it makes him feel like he deserves to be punished for thinking in such a way. Because Tom is wrong.

    But Tom does not want to believe he is wrong.
    In some of my earlier writing, the one-liner was in the first paragraph and the first paragraph was all...all almost stream of consciousness, rapid thoughts on the same topic. But I got sick of it, it was repetative and bored me because all the stories sounded alike.
    Stained Glass:
    The sky is so dark at midnight. Did you know that? Oh, I hope you know that, I really hope you do. I have a feeling you do. But there’s also a part of me that doubts that you do. For I do not believe you are the type of person to be standing on the rooftop of a ten-story building, staring up at the innumerable stars that reside themselves like twinkling teardrops in the pitch abyss overhead.
    One of my common things to do is use gemstones for description, but not in a standard way. I won't go "his eyes were like sapphires" or anything; I'll try to use more obscure stones and in different ways. If I'm describing something, I'll get as into it as I can without it being overdone. If I'm describing something made of wood, I'll say what kind of wood it is (commonly I use chestnut). If I'm describing clothing, I'll explain the material. Hair goes in depth. Something like that.

    I use a looooot of imagery and too much metaphor for my own good. Really profound, lengthy, descriptive metaphors and such to get every point across to a tee. And, apparently, it comes second-nature to me to use alliterations. I do them and don't ever notice it until someone mentions it to me. I have a million poetic devices in my head.

    I use so, so many sentence fragments and sentences starting with 'and'. It's ridiculous. One of my techniques is if I'm describing something, I do this thing where I take away a word each time I continue the description. So, instead of saying something like, "It tastes like sawdust, tastes like dirt, tastes like nothing," it would be more like, "It tastes like sawdust, like dirt, nothing." Bad example, I know, but I can't find an actual one in my writing atm (too lazy).

    Something I've had mention on before is the fact that I string words together to make words that don't exist but I make exist. I've done hammeringhammeringhammering in his head, justsoeasy for them, shatterglass windows, justlikethat, and so on. Sometimes they're italicized, sometimes not. I use them in lots of rapid thinking for a character too.

    And I use a lot of hyphens/dashes.
    March 10th, 2010 at 05:44am
  • Cheye13

    Cheye13 (100)

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    I use a lot of the same synonyms Think

    ...and nearly all of my characters are idealized versions of me. Sad
    March 10th, 2010 at 06:49am
  • fen'harel

    fen'harel (560)

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    For what I've gained in feedback from professors and friends, I tend to be dettached from my characters and lack of an emotional link.

    I've never noticed that until a professor of mine pointed out in several of my pieces that he had been reviewing after learning that I loved writing XD
    March 10th, 2010 at 05:14pm