10 Signs of Amateur Writing

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We all want to seem like professional writers, and we all want our books to look refined and mature. I'm not saying I've mastered it (we all know I haven't), but here are 10 things that will fuck up your writing. 

10 Signs of Amateur Writing (Not in Order of Importance): 

1) NOT USING THE GOSHDARN COMMAS. 

For example: "My name is Kelsey and my best friend is Daniel and we've been friends forever and I can't imagine life without him and I think I'm in love with him." 

Jesus Christ. My eyes are bleeding. Commas have a few basic rules, like using them after conjunctions to place a pause in what could be two separate sentences. The previous example was also a run-on, which is not good.

The correct version: "My name is Kelsey, and my best friend is Daniel. We've been friends forever, and I can't imagine life without him. I think I'm in love with him." 

Despite the sentences being incredibly cliche, at least looking at them doesn't give me a migraine.

2) NOT SEPARATING PARAGRAPHS. 

For example: "Cleopatra VII ruled ancient Egypt as co-regent (first with her two younger brothers and then with her son) for almost three decades. She became the last in a dynasty of Macedonian rulers founded by Ptolemy, who served as general under Alexander the Great during his conquest of Egypt in 332 B.C. Well-educated and clever, Cleopatra could speak various languages and served as the dominant ruler in all three of her co-regencies. Her romantic liaisons and military alliances with the Roman leaders Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, as well as her supposed exotic beauty and powers of seduction, earned her an enduring place in history and popular myth. Since no contemporary accounts exist of Cleopatra's life, it is difficult to piece together her biography with much certainty. Much of what is known about her life comes from the work of Greco-Roman scholars, particularly Plutarch. Born in 70 or 69 B.C., Cleopatra was a daughter of Ptolemy XII (Auletes). Her mother was believed to be Cleopatra V Tryphaena, the king's wife (and possibly his half-sister). In 51 B.C., upon the apparently natural death of Auletes, the Egyptian throne passed to 18-year-old Cleopatra and her 10-year-old brother, Ptolemy XIII. On September 2, 31 B.C., Octavian's forces soundly defeated those of Antony and Cleopatra in the Battle of Actium. Cleopatra's ships deserted the battle and fled to Egypt, and Antony soon managed to break away and follow her with a few ships. With Alexandria under attack from Octavian's forces, Antony heard a rumor that Cleopatra had committed suicide. He fell on his sword, and died just as news arrived that the rumor had been false."

Let's be real, none of you read that. I didn't even read that, and I'm the one who wrote... Ahem, copied and pasted it into this chapter. Section off the paragraphs so it's easier for the reader to take in the information without feeling overwhelmed. 

The correct version: "Cleopatra VII ruled ancient Egypt as co-regent (first with her two younger brothers and then with her son) for almost three decades. She became the last in a dynasty of Macedonian rulers founded by Ptolemy, who served as general under Alexander the Great during his conquest of Egypt in 332 B.C. Well-educated and clever, Cleopatra could speak various languages and served as the dominant ruler in all three of her co-regencies. Her romantic liaisons and military alliances with the Roman leaders Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, as well as her supposed exotic beauty and powers of seduction, earned her an enduring place in history and popular myth. 

Since no contemporary accounts exist of Cleopatra's life, it is difficult to piece together her biography with much certainty. Much of what is known about her life comes from the work of Greco-Roman scholars, particularly Plutarch. Born in 70 or 69 B.C., Cleopatra was a daughter of Ptolemy XII (Auletes). Her mother was believed to be Cleopatra V Tryphaena, the king's wife (and possibly his half-sister). In 51 B.C., upon the apparently natural death of Auletes, the Egyptian throne passed to 18-year-old Cleopatra and her 10-year-old brother, Ptolemy XIII. 

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