On the 07th March in “Do You Mind Repeating That?” I revealed one of the three deadly writing sins, repetition was sin number one.
Deadly sin number two is Hesitation, otherwise known as waffling or not getting to the point.
Not getting to the point and waffling for a couple of pages can ruin an otherwise great story. I’ve had this in a book recently, I’ve found myself checking the next few pages to see when the story was going to get cracking again. I’ve got to confess, I’ve still not finished the book.
So what can be done to help avoid waffling? Waffling can occur when a writer isn’t quite sure what comes next. Continuing to write when you’re not sure whats coming up isn’t a bad thing, in fact it can often help when you’ve got a block and aren’t sure where to go. Just make sure in subsequent drafts you prune any waffle out. Making a plan before starting a story can help though, if you know where your going your less likely to waffle.
Trying to stretch a story to a specific word length can also be a cause of waffling, adding a new plot twist can sometimes help as can adding a new dimension to your main character. Sometimes though a story is just meant to be shorter than you originally intended and trying to stretch it to suit a competition or specific market could ruin it.