I’ve been writing for quite some time now and – believe it or not – I still get feedback from my clientele. While some people point out my ridiculous use of punctuation, the others say that a sentence or two ‘just doesn’t seem right.’ Don’t get me wrong, though.
I always ask them why they find the sentence to be weird. And in most cases, I get the answer – ‘well, I don’t know, but it just doesn’t feel right.’ Now, when I recheck the same. I, too, find it to be a little awkwardly written, albeit grammatically correct.
When this happened to me for the very first time, I couldn’t believe what I was doing wrong. I was very proud of my writing style and I always expect nothing but perfection from my side.
However as I became more mature as a writer, I found out that this was the norm. If you write a lot throughout the day, you’re bound to make mistakes or sound bland. But, there’s an easy way or two to take care of this issue without any problem.
Let’s keep reading to know more about them.
How to Avoid Bad Writing?
While you’re writing, you will end up making it awkward even if you don’t want to. Hence, it might be better to adhere to the following tips to ensure that you’re taking care of it.
1. Read It Out Loudly
This might sound a bit cumbersome, but when you read something out loud, it becomes easier to understand what you have written. You can also hear if the phrase sounds wrong or not too.
Furthermore, reading out loud can also help you find sentences that are written in a confusing manner. It will ensure that you are not missing out on the other mistakes you have made too.
The thing is – if you’re re-reading your essay, it means your reader has to do the same as well. And if your reader is forced to do the same again and again, it will affect their experience.
2. Shorten Your Sentences
When you are writing something, it might be difficult to track how many words you’ve ended up including in a sentence. However, if you have written too much, it’ll seem quite awkward.
So, if something reads wrong, you can also try to simplify it by taking out unnecessary words. Even if you remove an entire phrase, it wouldn’t seem like a crime after you read it again.
Here’s an example that can help you understand what I’m talking about:
Confusing Sentence: When we make an explanation or a reason to avoid doing something a bit difficult, we end up creating an obstacle or two in our way of success.
A Better Alternative: Excuses can obstacle the path to our success.
Both of these sentences sound alright. However, due to the usage of too many words, the first one sounds somewhat confusing and unnecessary. The second one is simple and to the point.
3. Be Specific
If your writing is looking awkward, it might be because you have written it vaguely. Here’s an example of what I had written previously that explains this point perfectly –
‘We’ll never know some of the things that might hold us back if we don’t receive any kind of input from some other people.’
So, it’s a complete sentence as a whole.
But, it doesn’t tell us about what is holding us back or who will provide us with the input. So, if someone reads it without any context, they are bound to feel confused.
Now, here’s how I rewrote it after my editor got bewildered with the previous line –
‘We are unable to learn the circumstances that hold us back unless we get input from someone whom we trust or consider as a friend.’
This sentence sounds much more specific and to the point. It also answers the questions we’ve raised before. So, the issue of getting confused won’t be an issue here.
Fixing an awkwardly-written article can involve quite a lot of re-working.
After all, almost every sentence can be worded in more than one way. However, as a writer, it will be your job to find the simplest, yet the best possible wording.
For example, when you are re-wording, the first thing you should focus on is avoiding using a lot of passive voice. It makes the sentence look difficult to read. For instance –
‘He was passed by a brown car with a keen driver who had a sandwich on one hand and a cell phone on the other, and blatantly screamed as he flew by.’
This sentence has quite a lot of information, yes. However, it sounds repetitive and difficult to read, as it has been written in the passive voice.
Now, if we re-write it accordingly, here’s how it might sound –
‘The keen driver of a brown car, who screamed blatantly whilst passing him, had a sandwich in one hand and a cell phone in the other.’
5. Delete, Delete, and Delete
As a writer, I have always been an optimist, no matter what. However, when I read a phrase or two, I truly find that deleting the sentence might save me from my miseries.
But, how do you understand which sentence should be deleted and which should not be?
So, firstly, re-read a problematic sentence and check if you can take care of it by restructuring. It’s great and all, if you can. But, if you are unable to do anything, delete it entirely.
Just write it down again.
Finding an awkward sentence, especially if you are doing the practice for the first time, can be quite confusing. So, before you start doing an editor’s task, be sure to keep an eye on how you want to develop your structure. In addition, practice reading in an older piece before you start writing something again. The more you read, the easier it will be to find the awkwardness.
In any case, that will be all for this article. If you want to know more about it, make sure to let us know in the comment section below. We’ll try to offer as much information as we can.
And if you feel like writing essays is not something that you can do, ask a service like Fresh Essays to take care of it. They will certainly be of your assistance.