By: Jodie Renner
Overwriting or over-the-top writing, where it’s obvious the writer is trying way too hard to impress, can give an impression of lack of self-confidence and can scream “amateur” to industry professionals and discerning readers.
The novice writer prone to overwriting might take a basic idea, image, or action and keep adding more fancy descriptive words until the bloated passage has grown way out of proportion to its importance to the story as a whole.
Overwriting can be irritating, as all those extra words or flashy bling-bling get in the way of the story we are trying to read. Readers start skimming to get back to the character and her intriguing problems.
What exactly is overwriting?
What are some of the signs that signal a forced effort and lack of confidence on the part of the writer?
According to writing guru Richard Nordquist, overwriting is “a wordy writing style characterized by excessive detail, needless repetition, overwrought figures of speech, and/or convoluted sentence structures.”
Overwriting, in its extreme, is also described as flowery writing or purple prose. The Oxford English Dictionary says purple prose is writing that is “too elaborate or ornate.”
Some signs of overwriting include:
Too much description, too many extravagant words, too many adjectives and adverbs, extreme reactions and over-the-top emotions, too much detailed introspection, wordiness in general, and repetition of words and concepts.
Why is overwriting a problem?
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Read the full article HERE!
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