Ten Mistakes That Prevent Writers from Being Authors
Every writer makes mistakes. By eliminating most common mistakes in your novel you will be an author, not just a writer. We accumulated a short list of the Top Ten most common mistakes in writing and what YOU can do to avoid them. Even established authors sometimes find themselves lost over these mistakes. Learn how to find them, changed them and write impeccable stories that will turn heads.
#1: Are you telling or showing?
When you write that a character saw, heard, smelled or felt something… reword it to SHOW what it is the character is seeing, hearing, smelling or feeling.
#2: Overusing “I” in First-Person Narrator
Don’t begin every sentence using “I.” Remember the first mistake? Show, don’t tell.
#3: Too Many Characters
Evaluate how essential your characters are. Do you really need all eleven characters? Is there a way you could combine two or more characters to condense your cast and organize the story? Perhaps call them “the twins” instead of Lucy and Lillian?
#4: Too Much Explaining
Be aware that you aren’t flooding your readers with explanations. Be aware of the reasons why you’re including an individual explanation, and evaluate its value and don’t be nervous to cut it if it’s interrupting the information that’s important to your story. Try not to insult your readers with over explanations.
#5: Not Enough Explaining
Authors know their stories so well they assume the readers do too. Circulate the information throughout different scenes giving readers a full visual of your characters. Show your readers what the narrator already knows. Find a good balance of sharing information. Enough, but not too much.
#6: “Suddenly” Ironic Tendencies
Overusing the word “suddenly” lessens the effect it’s trying to establish. If something is supposed to have a sudden effect then the act itself should show that. If you have to use the word to show its urgent action, then rewrite the paragraph without it.
#7: Opening Lines that Bore to Death
Boring lines fail to draw readers further into the story. It’s that simple. Reevaluate your opening lines to ensure your readers stick around to finish the book.
#8: Irrelevant Scenes
Irrelevant scenes will derail your story. How do we know if your readers will think they are unnecessary? Look for the loose ends in your novel and mentally delete them. This can be hard because sometimes the smaller scenes are the fun scenes to write. You will be doing your novel a favor by getting rid of them.
#9: Complex Plots That Go Too Far
The major pitfall with overly complex plots is that authors fail writing a story that they don’t fully understand themselves. We want our plots to be complex so they challenge our readers but we don’t want to get lost in those ideas. You’ll be able to tell if your plot to too complex if you’re telling more than one story. Pick the story you want to tell and go from there.
#10: Events That Don’t Move the Plot Forward
Sure it would be fun to add a scene you’ve been thinking about for sometime. Does it move the story forward? If so, I say do it! If not, save it for a novel it will. Adding events that don’t move the story forward will derail your readers.