How to Deal with Writing Pet Peeves & Learn from Them

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Pet Peeves in Our Writing World

Writing's craft requires skill, creativity, and dedication but also comes with its own set of challenges and frustrations. Whether dealing with grammar nazis, plagiarism, clichés, or unrealistic expectations, writers often develop pet peeves which depending on how you interpret this frustration can positively or negatively impact your writing. Vent, laugh, but most of all learn from the pet peeves in our writing world.

Writing an article, Thinking about the Ten Worst Writing Pet Peeves, Hated by Writers Because "I Have A Dream" of This List Making Writers Be The Best They Can Be

Pet Peeves
  1. The passive voice. It is hated by writers. Writers hate it. See the difference?
  2. The misuse of apostrophes. It’s not that hard to know when to use its or it’s, your or you’re, their or they’re. Or is it?
  3. The overuse of adverbs. They are very, extremely, incredibly, totally unnecessary. Just use strong verbs instead.
  4. The dangling modifier. This is a phrase that modifies something that is not clearly stated in the sentence. For example: “Walking to the store, a dog barked at me.” Who was walking to the store, me or the dog?
  5. The run-on sentence. This is a sentence that goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on without any punctuation or conjunctions to break it up and make it easier to read and understand do you get what I mean?
  6. The comma splice. This is when two independent clauses are joined by a comma instead of a period or a semicolon. For example: “I love writing, it’s my passion.” That should be either “I love writing. It’s my passion.” or “I love writing; it’s my passion.”
  7. The mixed metaphor. This is when two or more metaphors are combined in a way that makes no sense or creates a funny image. For example: “He’s a loose cannon who always bites off more than he can chew.”
  8. The cliché. This is a phrase that has been used so often that it has lost its originality and impact. For example: “She was as busy as a bee.” or “He was as cool as a cucumber.”
  9. The plagiarism. This is when someone copies someone else’s work and passes it off as their own. For example: “To be or not to be, that is the question.” That’s Shakespeare, not you.
  10. The unrealistic expectation. This is when someone expects you to write a masterpiece in a day, or to write for free, or to write something that you have no interest or expertise in. For example: “Can you write me a 10,000-word essay on quantum physics by tomorrow? And can you do it for exposure?” No, just no.

I hate to read writing where writers use the word “very.”

It’s lazy and boring and stupid/ignorant. It’s bad. VERY, very bad… very...Oops. Never mind.

Not Every Poem I Write

And certainly not every poem YOU read...

is going to make perfect sense. This isn’t because I have some need to sound too clever by half and/or to show-off in any way. It IS because not every feeling, thought, insight, hope, fear, fantasy, idea I possess or that possesses me is all that clear to me either. And, you know, poems, (fuckin’ poems!) are a lot like dreams or expressionist art (Pollack et al) don’t ask what they mean, don’t even utter, “What?” Just enjoy, love, like, abhor, loath, despise or any combination thereof and therein and move on to the next poem. If you were meant to understand everything you experience you’d have been named God.

Conjunction of Negation

Much of our misery comes from selfish cravings and desires

I’m not saint but, I mean, however, I mean, yet (as in “but”), I mean, nevertheless/nonetheless, I mean, what I’m trying to say is that since nobody’s really a “saint,” unless they do miracles, or are super nice enough, to lick-up lepers' vomit and such, and are thus listed in that standard classic Catholic text Lives of the Saints, where their antics and contributions to saintly goodness have been duly noted and categorized and include some of this licking lepers’ vomit, you can look it up, (not to be confused with licking a toilet-seat in a public restroom and posting a brief clip on Twitter or Instagram or some equivalent social media site in protest of mask-wearing — Unless, I guess, there is Leper’s vomit on said toilet seat,) here’s the deal I’m not saint BUT since saying this means nothing perhaps that conjunction of negation, indicating that what I’ll say next is what I actually mean, maybe probably, perhaps, I needn’t say that in the first place.

You think? 

The Fictional Literate

More Annoying Things About Writers


Man reading book says, "This is a good book. I am glad I wrote it. And to think, I almost didn't read it. Book cover reads, How to Write Without Reading.

The genre fiction author writes stimulating, unique novels without ever reading books, which is an astounding feat equivalent to a man building a formula race car without ever seeing an automobile. To hone this skill, the genre fiction writer reads random articles, skims Wikipedia, and sharpens hearing to what’s in his head rather than what he scribes on the page. Truly a master storyteller worthy of the title, Fictional Literate.

A monolith of originality towering over the frivolity of hyperbole, allusion, and other rhetorical devices, the fictional literate knows with certainty the meaningful hides not in such pitiful persuasion tactics but WEB articles unadulterated by themes and subject intricacies. For that which is meaningful, is always obvious. Facing down thousands of years of narrative meant to convey morals, wisdom, and justify thought, the fictional literate resolves to read,

“Seven ways to make sentences pop!”
“Why writing plainly is good.”
“Should I write like I talk?”

Using this knowledge to help other writers, he corrects,

“You can’t use periods in dialogue tags, and I don’t give a shit if Faulkner did it that way because the internet says otherwise!”

Sharing not just knowledge but also the wisdom of the internet, he teaches fellow fiction writing amateurs,

“No need to cloud the story in symbolism. Just say it! Because if what you’re saying is true — they’ll just believe you.”

The fictional literate’s literary epistemology limits not to random website articles, and quick glances at Wikipedia yields works of indisputable truth. Undaunted by vast libraries of books critiquing, discussing, and theorizing masterpieces, he stands firm in the belief that one need not tire the mind with tomes of knowledge, scoffing,

“Why read the Republic when you can skim it on Wikipedia or watch a YouTube video, fool!”

Most amazing is the fictional literate’s ability to hear in his writing what others cannot. He boasts of writing with beat in the same superior vein of a lighthouse keeper claiming the ability to write a symphony after using a foghorn, and so poeticizes,

The silver elf ran across the field, brandishing the rapier, ready to die. His foe, the blue dwarf, stood cowardly and defiant, issuing a bloody war cry.

“Do you hear the beat? The lyricizing of fantasy! Did you hear?”

And the fictional fans of the fictional literate rejoice,

“Yes! Yes, such beats. Like a bard singing from the page!”

The seeming coincidence of rhyme reflects the fictional literate’s true mastery of poetry that ignores meter and syllabic stress, connecting elements of rhythm in free verse with the accuracy of a blind sniper striking the bullseye. A master of the well-placed period at the end of the sentence, he wields punctuation like Mozart wields the clef, forming beats for all those fictionally literate enough to hear.

Standing, clapping, shouting my ovation, “Encore, Maestro! Encore!”

Wikipedia- You use it all the time, so you should really support it, get involved, and make it less prone to error, or you can just go on being a selfish fictional literate. Thanks.

Just Weighing Separator

Photo by Rafaela Biazi on Unsplash

Photo by Toni Koraza on Unsplash

Copyright Vincent Triola & Terry Trueman

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