The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day.
January 6 question – Being a writer, when you’re reading someone else’s work, what stops you from finishing a book/throws you out of the story/frustrates you the most about other people’s books?
A writing teacher first alerted me to the overuse of breathing to show a characters emotion. An intake of breath, a sigh, holding one’s breath, breathing out, and other character breathing descriptions are fine to use — but use sparingly. After all, if your character is alive, your reader will assume they can breathe (unless your character is something other than human and oxygen is not necessary for life). The teacher encouraged to write other ways to show your character’s distress, excitement or relief beyond “took a deep breath” or “breathed in” or “let out her breath.”
Whenever I read a phrase related to a character’s breathing more than three time in one chapter or multiple times within a few pages, I may toss the book aside. I love creative descriptions. Creative descriptions captivate me. So reading “took a deep breath” again and again is frustrating! With that said, I have finished novels, particularly romance, where the characters breathing is referred to often. However, other well-crafted elements in the story allow the breathing descriptions to not overwhelm.
Ironically, I published a journal titled Breathing Spaces, and I refer to my photography as Breathing Spaces. So maybe I really shouldn’t be so critical when it comes to breathing in writing!
Insecure Writer’s Support Group
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day.
Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.
Now feel free to take a deep breath before scrolling through the images below.
What can stop you from finishing a book? If you are a writer, what helps you not to overuse a descriptive phrase?