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Story Engineering by Larry Brooks

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45FINDING YOUR VOICE

By far the most common entry-level mistake in the writing game, the thing that can get a perfectly good story rejected by an editor on the first page, is overwriting. A writing voice that is overly laden with energy and adjectives, that tries too hard, that is self-conscious in a way that detracts from the story, that is obviously the work of a writer trying to poeticize a story that doesn’t stand a chance.

Bad writing voice is like wearing a clown suit to the Oscars. Chances are you won’t make it past the lobby.

Of course, one writer’s clown suit is another’s tuxedo. Which is to say, you may believe your eloquence is palatable and beautiful, and you may feel the need to stuff all this fat into your sentences because you ...

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