I have told the story of how I wrote my first book in a previous blog post – How to Become Creative in Writing. I started writing the book in junior secondary.

When I came back to complete it in senior secondary (because of the promise of promotion our principal made), the cover was gone and rats had eaten a reasonable portion out of it.

When asked if I’m a published author by some calibers of people, I blatantly say no.

Don’t get me wrong, of course I’m very much proud of my book. Schools in Abia State use it, I’ve gotten lots of testimonials from students on how the book had pushed them to becoming better, but I’d rather only beginner writers read it because I wrote it when I was yet to master the ways the pen.

Currently, I use the book in teaching interested beginners on how to come up with better. To not make this blog post an extremely long one, I’ll only be sharing with you four things I included in the book thinking I was a badass writer already. You already know they are DON’TS.

You do not have to write/know everything that happens in your story

Thinking about it, I really don’t think there are any surprises in my ‘badass’ book. You do not have to tell your readers everything in your story. Let them figure some things out themselves.

Give them some mind exercises to do while reading your piece. No. they won’t say you’re lazy. You’re appealing to their mind, making them feel like a part of your writing.

Some might not tell you, but running down everything that happens in your piece all by yourself makes your work too straightforward and boring.

Now you know, fix it!

Do not over describe

Description is very good because it adds a plus to your imagery, however, never overdo it. Only add the important details.

I’ve seen works where a writer used up to three paragraphs in describing something. Such gestures irritate the eyes and makes your work ambiguous. We all have bodies and perfectly know how it works. If you must describe to the lengths, one paragraph should be enough.

Summary is, avoid purple prose (an overly descriptive writing).

Make it complex

Please, unless you intend writing for those in Kindergarten, avoid – Ada goes to market, meets Uche, they marry, have children and live happily ever after. Smart readers will dump you and never read anything with your name on it again!

Learnt plot twists, give them surprises they never expect, make them marvel at how brilliant you are. Trust me, even if you don’t finish all you have to write in one book, they’ll patiently wait for the release of your next book.

I, for example, there’s this Igbo novel we read in secondary school (Okpa Aku Eri Eri by Ude Odilora). If I see its second part today, I must buy it. Though Igbo, the writing was explicit!

Check, check and check your tenses again

Past, present, past participle, present continuous, past continuous, the English people made them many. Whichever you’re writing with, stick to it. Don’t make your readers rack their brains so much or they’ll rebel on your book to be.

Also Read: How to Become Creative in Writing

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