When Your Writing Has a Cold

When you have a cold, you know you're sick due to the signs and symptoms. But what happens when your writing has a cold? Do you recognize the signs and, if so, do you know the cure?

***********************Signs Your Writing Has a Cold****************
1. Characters are stuffy in speech, manners, etc.
2. The long descriptions make you drowsy even if you had a full night's sleep.
3. Often-repeated words and phrases make your head ache.
4. Some scenes are so disjointed, it makes you feel dizzy.
5. Your heroine/hero runs hot and cold at inappropriate times.
6. Weird or overused cliches are so bad you almost vomit saying them aloud.
**********************Cures for What Ails You***********************
1. Make each character have secrets and flaws, throw a monkey wrench into their lovely lives.
2. Take a cup of coffee and go to your delete button. We don't need to know the color, length, material, pattern, and opacity of the neighbor's curtains.
3. Delete or reword these. We all have pet phrases but extra time here is most beneficial.
4. Index card your scenes and figure out where your time-line went screwy then move them around and revise until some order is established.
5. Unless your character is an angst-ridden teenager, or has some other good reason to act moody, your characters shouldn't run to emotional extremes all the time. Make certain that each drastic change can be related to something major. Delete what can't. Use sparingly at any rate.
6. Sort of like cure number three. It is very fun to come up with new and interesting parallels that haven't been done. With the right wording, your comparison will pop instead of fizzle. We writers want eyes GLUED to the page, not glazed over.

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