| | |

New Author Writing Mistakes to Avoid


Shortcuts to Writing Like A Pro

You can avoid new writer traps that mark you as a beginner. Professional writing is geared toward readers. Anything that draws the reader out of the story and calls attention to your writing is not worth it.

Writing craft takes practice. The benefit for you is that your story is appreciated. The more you write your craft will improve.

Here are 5 writing mistakes that will keep you out of the agent or editor slush pile and garner more readers. Learn to recognize this mistakes to improve your writing craft.

5 Common Novice Writing Mistakes

Learn to recognize and fix these newbie writing mistakes to move your writing to a professional level. As your awareness builds, you’ll be able to avoid them at the first draft level.

  1. Your characters bellow, whisper, exclaim, and whine. Don’t underestimate your readers.  Said is all you need, The words your characters say give your readers the clues they need to understand the emotion. Readers mentally skip said. Keep them in the story. Even in long dialogue exchanges, you don’t need to use it often. If you need to emphasize an emotion, insert a character action in a sentence. Craig pounded the table with his fist and said… Stick with said or ask. That’s all you need.
  2. You use italics for emphasis. Just like exclamation points, you don’t need italics to emphasize words or phrases. If your character is thinking, write the sentence so readers know. Cut italics and trust your reader.
  3. You head hop in a scene. Each scene has one point of view. Keep your reader in that character’s head. Hopping back and forth between characters in a scene confuses readers. If you want to get into another character’s head, write a different scene from their perspective and keep it in that point of view. Rule of thumb one point of view per scene.
  4. You weight down nouns and verbs with modifiers.  You are a wordsmith. Choose your words with precision. The more precise you are the less you need adjectives and adverbs. Use strong active verbs and forget the adverbs. Search for “ly” to see how adverbs pop up in your writing. Stop, cut the adverb, and use a strong verb.  
  5. You show off your smarts. Don’t use big words when a simpler one will do. Skip overwriting complex descriptions to show how much you know about something. Get out of the reader’s way so they can enjoy your story. Simple, clear writing keeps your reader turning pages.

Art Comes from Craft

Keep practicing your craft. You’ll be way ahead of the novice writers who ignore writing craft and think their story idea is all it takes. Readers prefer a well-told story. Your attention to craft creates a difference. It separates you from the many, many writers who are too impatient to learn.

Your storytelling will improve. Readers will enjoy reading your stories. Craft makes a story a good read.

Zara Altair
Zara Altair writes mysteries set in ancient Italy. Her course for beginning writers Write A Killer Mystery is coming soon. Get on the notification list.

Similar Posts