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Top Mistakes Made by First-Time Fiction Writers

20 items ranked

The biggest amateur mistakes in novels

Rated 0 points - posted 8 years ago by laneave in category Books.
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1.

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Indistinguishable/unbelievable dialogue Report Abuse
When characters all sound the same or don't sound like real people, the story doesn't come alive. Most readers will put down this book.
5 points - added 8 years ago by laneave -

2.

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Unnecessary/unintentional shift in point of view Report Abuse
A story without a decided point of view comes across as unpolished and amateur. Experienced authors are able to write every detail from a singular (and consciously chosen) perspective.
4 points - added 8 years ago by laneave -

3.

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Too many subplots Report Abuse
2 points - added 8 years ago by laneave -

4.

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Lack of falling action Report Abuse
Once the climax is over, the story will still feel incomplete if there's not sufficient resolution. Even if the rest of the story is great, readers will remember being dissatisfied in the end.
2 points - added 8 years ago by laneave -

5.

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Unlikely plot resolution Report Abuse
0 points - added 8 years ago by laneave -

6.

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Unoriginality of plot/characters Report Abuse
Everyone knows there's no completely new story, but some authors "borrow" so much that they tread the dangerous line of plagiarism.
0 points - added 8 years ago by laneave -

7.

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Unclear timeline Report Abuse
0 points - added 8 years ago by laneave -

8.

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Lack of character development Report Abuse
0 points - added 8 years ago by laneave -

9.

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Too much focus on tertiary characters Report Abuse
Authors often feel strong connections too all their characters—even the ones who aren't central to the plot; therefore, they give them more screen time than necessary. Well-known writers who publish in series get away with this, but it's not advisable for someone just getting started.
0 points - added 8 years ago by laneave -

10.

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Plot points for which readers can't suspend disbelief Report Abuse
0 points - added 8 years ago by laneave -

11.

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Underdeveloped plot Report Abuse
0 points - added 8 years ago by laneave -

12.

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Too much narrative summary Report Abuse
0 points - added 8 years ago by laneave -

13.

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Lack of motivation for character Report Abuse
0 points - added 8 years ago by laneave -

14.

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Shocking scenes with no purpose Report Abuse
0 points - added 8 years ago by laneave -

15.

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Rushed or missing scene endings Report Abuse
0 points - added 8 years ago by laneave -

16.

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Over reliance on flashback Report Abuse
0 points - added 8 years ago by laneave -

17.

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Lack of any likable character Report Abuse
This used to be considered a major flaw, but it's less egregious in today's market. Still, most audiences need at least two characters they like and can relate to.
0 points - added 8 years ago by laneave -

18.

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Unnecessarily autobiographical Report Abuse
0 points - added 8 years ago by laneave -

19.

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Too many scenes before plot is introduced Report Abuse
0 points - added 8 years ago by laneave -

20.

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Illogical emotional responses from characters Report Abuse
-4 points - added 8 years ago by laneave -
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