Category Archives: Style

Common style shortcomings in genre fiction writing.

Generic Adjectives are Bad for your Style

What’s wrong with this fragment, found in a novel: ‘Their conversation was stilted’? That’s right: it tells, it doesn’t show. Instead of creating a scene with the right atmosphere to show us that the awkwardness, boredom and self-consciousness of the characters … Continue reading

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Show, don’t tell

What’s wrong with this: ‘Jim felt hurt that his wife did not discuss her plans with him.’? It sounds like an excerpt from a psychological report. Surely not one from the narrative of a sci-fi thriller. Yet, this is where … Continue reading

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