This is a topic that is probably more widely discussed than artistic fallacies, on part because writing consists of fundamental rules that adhere to how one uses grammar and spelling. We have all been taught from very early ages, in the native tongue that we happen to speak that there are certain things you can and cannot do with words. Despite the fact that grammar, spelling and other fundamentals for written communication are taught to us from an early age, somehow there are people who still make the gravest of writing sins. While most books in a store escape these problems, dA is ridden with them. Some is purely common sense, and some are more along the lines of what constitutes bad writing, not understanding fundamental rules and pet peeves.
1.) Spelling and grammar: Fundamental rule that we all fail at, at least at some points. Punctuation, proper use of words, the spelling of said words, how a sentence is formed, guaranteed everyone has made this mistake, and a lot of people still do. Spelling, there is no excuse not to get that right. Dictionaries and spell checkers exist for that very reason. Grammar on the other hand is often convoluted, as most people speak differently than they write. Still, there is no excuse not to write clearly defined sentences. As I write my conjunctions at the start of my sentences (which is proper, but more complicated grammar), it is easy to understand how horrible punctuation can be. Add the addition of the semi-colon ; and then it becomes that much worse.
2.) Using speech and quotations: In school most of us are taught to write in an essay format, where we have an opening paragraph, a body paragraph(s) and a closing paragraph. Public speeches and most tests are encouraged to be written in this form. Actually writing for dialogue, on the other hand, is rarely taught and utilized, even though most of the books we read as children utilize it. Writing for a story that is not purely narrative means using quotations and commas effectively. In of itself, the process is somewhat vague as to what is right and what is wrong, and almost guaranteed to be exceedingly confusing.
She says, "The dog jumped over the fence."
She says, "The dog jumped over the fence," then chased after it.
"The dog jumped over the fence," she says.
"The dog jumped over the fence!" she yells.
"The dog jumped over the fence," she says, then adds, "and it's running away."
"The dog jumped over the fence!" she yells, then adds, "and it's running away!"
"The dog jumped over the fence," she says. A moment later she adds, "It's running away."
3.) It's/Its/It/It is, possession and apostrophes: From a personal perspective, I cannot understand what there is not to get about this. Anything with an apostrophe s ('s) is foreshortening. A word has been condensed to reflect a person's preference to not using whole words, as we usually do not do that in speech. We default to saying, "Tom's ball," instead of using, "That is the ball of Tom." It simplifies our lives. The problem comes into play when its, it's, it and it is comes into play. In the English language we are taught that 's is possessive. Truth be told, unless the person is actually named 'It', there is no excuse to use it's in reference to a thing owning something. It's stands for 'it is', thus an abbreviation. Its is the proper possessive word used for something without a discernable gender. 'Its ball' is used instead of 'It's (It is) ball'. Many an English teacher does not know this as again, essay format writing is usually taught.
4.) The nots, the haves and the O's: As with the it's where 'it is' is the reflection of the English speaker's habit to slur 'it is', other words fall under the same category. 'O'clock' (of the clock), 'don't' (do not), 'I've' (I have) are examples of words where we use apostrophes to reflect the slur of human speech. The worst one in this group that everyone abuses though is the word 'let's' (let us). It always needs an apostrophe; otherwise, it doesn't work. A great way to understand if the word fits in a sentence that normally uses an apostrophe is to break it apart, and then read it aloud to see if it fits. There are times apostrophes can be used creatively to directly reflect the slur of speech, such as 'Peaches 'n cream', although it is best to tread carefully as the apostrophes that are used aren't particularly defined.
5.) The plague of English and words that aren't really words: This would probably be mostly applicable to anything that starts with the letter A. English is ripe with these problems, and likely the major reason why that it's considered one of the hardest languages to learn based on vocabulary and grammar alone. A spellchecker or grammar checker will catch all of these problems, but words such as 'alot' (suppose to be 'a lot') 'always' ('all ways' literally would be used to refer to all directions, were 'always' is more or less means 'all the time'), 'whatsoever' (which exists without spaces and stands for 'what so ever'), 'well-being' (where the words 'well' and 'being' are joined by a dash. Commonly words like 'well' will be paired with other words in this manner). The only way to really check these is to look in a dictionary for whole-word versions of these words, and verify if they do or do not exist. Most of this comes down to memory.
6.) Unable to make a point: The only time this really happens on a regular basis, as I have found, is when a teacher assigns an essay with a large word count requirement about a topic that no one particularly cares about. Instead of writing something that follows the basic beginning, middle and end writing format, it's a page full of sentences that really don't go anywhere.
7.) Scripts and chat/forum writing: This sort of writing exists really only on the internet, comprised of people who have not either read a proper play (Shakespeare) or an actual script from a movie. With a pre-conceived notion of what a script actually looks like, these people use a shoddy format of writing to make a story, quoting that it is written in a 'script' style. The examples I am using are from a project of mine, although not done with the proper spacing. Most scripts have character lines centered on the page.
Outside in a tropical rain-forest clearing. Sometime in the morning. You can see a busy archeological base camp. Arte is talking with Lilith. Eve is playing with a butterfly. Coline and Dr. Worthshire are talking.
Coline: *Trying to be interested*
Dr. Worthshire: *Excited*
Dr. Worthshire: We have discovered what could be the greatest archeological find in the history of human civilization. Not since the Valley of the Kings has there been such a find--
EXT. TROPICAL RAIN-FOREST CLEARING. MORNING
An archeological base camp where everything is busy. Camera move through the camp, past ARTE conversing with LILLITH. Sweeps to EVE, a talking (non-comprehensible) black fox, who is playing with a butterfly. Continues to COLINE and DR. WORTHSHIRE, standing away from the main part of camp.
COLINE has hands folded in front of her, trying to look interested. DR. WORTHSHIRE is gesturing excitedly to the ruins, voice as excited.
We have discovered what could be the greatest archeological find in the history of human civilization. Not since the Valley of the Kings has there been such a find
8.) Poor character creation, the Mary-Sue: Had to add this pet peeve in here. Less common in art than it is in writing, these are people (commonly women) who throw themselves or an idealized representation of themselves into a story. They are people who have all the ideal qualities possible, without consequence. Easy to identify if the gender of the author is known, this character is almost impossibly annoying in the terms of capacity, capabilities and again, lack of consequence for their actions. Good character development comes with character flaws, of which these do not have.
9.) People who take fan fiction seriously: There are some people, actual authors and writers who have published books, who write fan fiction and then expect this plagiarized material to actually be publishable under their own name. It's called 'plagiarism' for a reason, as it is the act of stealing someone else's ideas. Then to top this off, these people will actually either claim their idea was 'original', or even worse, naively go to a publisher and present the thing, unedited. The thing that makes me personally laugh and scorn these 'writers' are the ones who actually write fan fiction on their spare time and then promptly claim their qualities as a 'good' writer. To my own standing, I am merely practicing.
10.) Emoticons and LOL: Does not need to be explained. Anyone who uses this in any context outside of a forum or chat room should simply be shot.
It's easier to sum-up the flaws of the artistic world ( [link]
is the journal on artistic sin) in a shorter blurb than this. For my journal on the sins of the art world, they were broken into seven categories, intended to imitate the seven deadly sins, classified as: pride, wrath, sloth, lust, gluttony, greed and envy. With writing, sloth and pride are about the only two things that actually have a hold on the writing word. Evidently ignorance is not a sin, so that cannot be included. The greatest sin of them all though, could be considered editing, or the lack thereof. True sloth at its best.
Ideally, this journal is designed to touch base with others to see what their ideas are of the sins (or pet-peeves) created by writers, in direct relation to their stories, poems and so on.