Writing Mistakes to Avoid That Could Bore Your Readers
Writing is a craft over which you gain mastery over time. It is only human to make mistakes when you’re just starting out. Naturally, there will be aspects that you’re not aware of, that are hampering your work. Both experienced and novice writers are not immune to making errors while writing a novel. That being said, no writer wants their readers to give up on the book they’ve spent so much effort in writing. It’s a scary thought that you might not even know where you’re going wrong as you make progress in writing your novel. This blog is crafted to remove your worries by listing 5 potential mistakes you can avoid making in order to keep your readers interested till the final page-
You’re not allowing your characters to develop
No matter how great your storyline is, readers will quickly lose interest if the characters in your book are poorly crafted. In literature, we value round characters over flat characters. Flat characters are those that are written hastily and show no development throughout the novel. On the other hand, round characters are three dimensional, relatable and “grow” organically throughout the story. They are realistic and relatable. Their personalities are subject to change with their conflicts and experiences. Here’s how you can create round characters- give them a good backstory, define their motives clearly and attribute raw and honest emotions to them. An example of a well-written character is the remarkable Albus Dumbledore, from the Harry Potter series.
You’re overstuffing the story with facts
All great writers agree that this is a classic mistake. When you’re writing fiction, injecting the narrative with too many facts makes it boring and unpalatable. This is because readers often look towards fiction as an escape, and facts are firmly grounded in reality. In simple words, when you overdo it with the facts, the magic that you’re trying so hard to create is lost. Leave some things as a mystery and let the readers’ imagination do the work instead. Try this simple test- give your writing a read-if a detail doesn’t move the story forward by establishing the setting, advancing the plot or shedding light on the characters, it doesn’t belong.
Your story isn’t well-paced
A good storyline alone is not enough- it has to be well-paced. Over the course of an entire novel, variety of pacing is absolutely key. There should be peaks and troughs, periods of high intensity/action punctuated by lulls in which the reader can absorb and digest them. Most importantly of all, there should be a continual escalation towards the climax of your novel – failing to do so will leave your novel feeling flat. To make your story impactful, you have to know how to time the events and conflicts interestingly. This will make the experience of reading your story enjoyable for the reader.
Your story is too predictable
Whatever genre you’re writing in, be aware of the most common tropes and current trends of that type of fiction. It can be tempting to fall back on what is common or currently popular, but by doing so you risk making your novel completely predictable. Subvert your reader’s expectations. If you’re familiar with genre tropes, you can use this to your advantage and surprise your readers by defeating their anticipations. Most avid readers know the genre inside out and are looking for a refreshing read. Therefore, it’s important to surprise them. This is especially important when you’re writing a mystery/thriller novel. Make sure that you’re not using worn-out techniques that could hamper the suspense you’re trying to build.
You’re editing as you go
When creating the first draft, nothing is more important than simply getting words on the page. If you’re constantly self-editing and second-guessing every element of your writing as you go, you’ll inevitably grind to a creative halt. Separate the writing and editing into two distinct processes. Doing so will allow you to write more freely, and help to overcome any instances of self-doubt that might otherwise occur.
You’re leaving many loose threads untied
Like your favourite sweater, your story might have a loose thread or two that you keep tugging at. However, too many loose threads, if left untied, can unravel the entire story. As a writer, it is not easy to keep track of all the events, characters and elements that you’ve introduced into your story. It is incredibly irritating for the reader when a certain plot element has been introduced, but abandoned and left unfulfilled. The trick here is to create a map as your story progresses. In this way, you’ll know where to pick up where you’d left off, and you readers, having had access to all the answers, will be satisfied in the end.
As a writer, you want your passion for your story to shine through it. Don’t allow it to be dulled by mistakes that you can easily avoid. If you want to create a truly immersive reading experience, get rid of anything that might distract the reader from uncovering the true essence of the story. Keep these aforementioned tips in mind to ensure that your next novel is nothing short of a page-turner!