Writing Prompts

10 Deadly Habits – Part One

Hello, dears! Guess what my boyfriend did. No, you really should guess. The headline says it all…

Late last night, I received a message titled “10 Deadly Habits We All Do Before Bedtime,” ironic since it was “late last night” and using your phone was one of the “10 Deadly Habits.” Yes, my dear, darling boyfriend gets suckered by the cheap, unsited, floating statistics that haunt our internet surfs. Normally, I read them for funsies or jokes. I don’t particularly put any stock in them. Anyway, the short story is, I read it and even at midnight, it was surprisingly atrocious. The spelling errors! The grammar! The monotonous writing voice! I MUST interfere!

So my summer pet project is to work this blog post beginning to end with editing critiques and rewriting. Join me on another adventure – to boldly scratch the surface with red ink and provoking thoughts, to seek out sited sources, to rip first drafts to shreds and uncover the amazing verbiage beneath!

DAY ONE! LET US COMMENCE!

(…) = replace word with a better/more descriptive word

abc = remove word/s

Okay, I’m not going to reveal the publisher of this blog because that is just rude and thoughtless. They did not ask for this critique, they’re just trying to save the world one sleepful night at a time. And I’m just trying to save bad writing…

First on our list is the title. Now, we all know a catchy title is imperative to getting read in this world. However, there are some rules I feel are necessary. For one, you must not lie. I do not approve of lying. Secondly, the title must be quick and concise. Too many words in a title bog down the reader. This one breaks both of those rules.

TITLE:

10 (Deadly) Habits We All Do Before Bed Even Though They Seriously DAMAGE Our Health

“Deadly” is an extreme adjective. Yes, sleep is important, but not ALL of these habits would be considered “deadly.” Take napping (which we will focus on in a later segment.) My great-grandfather napped every day of his life, and he lived to be 101. My great-uncle naps every day of his life, and he’s 82 and still kicking. My mom naps – okay, yes, you get the picture.

“10 Unhealthy Habits We All Do Before Bed”

There. By changing “deadly” to “unhealthy,” we automatically eliminate the need for the wordy second half of the title. Besides, the second half also goes against my first rule about lying. Most of these habits do not “seriously DAMAGE” your health.

INTRODUCTION:

Sleeping is a process that provides energy for our body for the next day. Therefore, it is good to have a healthy sleep (habits) (and not) wakeing up before it’s time to wake up or have some harming habits. Here are some things you (need to) stop doing in order to have better sleep.

There are a few typos and some places in this paragraph that do not read smoothly. It is important to write sentences which are easy to read. You don’t want to trip up your readers with unnecessary words or confusing sentence structure.

Sleeping is a process that provides energy for our body. Therefore, it is good to have healthy sleep habits without waking up before it is time. Here are some things you should consider stopping in order to have better sleep.

Editorial Notes:

  • Sleeping is a process that provides energy. We don’t need to know it provides energy for the next day. We already assume it provides energy everyday.
  • “Without waking” offers a smoother transition rather than “and not wake.”
  • While “it‘s time” is technically correct, when read in the sentence, it almost sounds like “it’s” is taking possession of “time.” To avoid confusion, I  recommend using “it is time” instead.
  • “…to wake up or have some harming habits…” Eliminate unnecessary wordage when possible. This isn’t NaNoWriMo. You don’t get points for high word counts.
  • Need to” – don’t tell your readers what to do. Period. Just don’t do it. I’m serious. Don’t.

BODY

Moving on to the first segment of the blog, we will go through all 10 habits in a 10-part segment over the course of the summer. Updates will be posted every two weeks as usual, so it will take five months to finish the project. Whip out your red pens…we’re in for a bumpy ride.

1. Do not drink the water

Water is essential for the body to maintain normal functioning and to lubricate the joints as you move. But if you drink water just before bedtime, you will wake up not just once, but several times to urinate, interrupting your sleep.

I don’t have much of an issue with this one. I would appreciate a lengthier explanation and maybe some links to sources and scientific study results. The one issue I DO have, is in the second sentence. How does this blogger know water affects EVERYONE that way? How can the blogger know you’ll be up MULTIPLE times? Is the blogger STALKING us?

1. Do Not Drink the Water

Water is essential for the body, since your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature, as sourced by our very own WebMD. However, drinking too much water before bedtime can cause you to wake up and have to urinate, which will interrupt your sleep. For such people, it is best to drop drinking water 2 hours before bedtime. For more information, you can read directly from New Health Advisor.


 

And that concludes this week’s segment! Come back for more “ripping on helpless bloggers for the sake of my blog” – and boredom. Mostly for boredom.

Cheerio!

Fanny T. Crispin

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