Starting Your Writing Journey

So you want to write but don’t know where to start? The journey to becoming a published author is a bumpy ride with lots of ups and downs along the way. 

As a new writer learning the ropes you will inevitably make some mistakes. That’s okay, but here’s a list of common mistakes (in no particular order) that will help you avoid them.

14 STASHED

2 LIKES

Mistakes New Writers Make

thedigitalcatalog.blogspot.com

1. A Weak Introduction

First impressions are everything. Often, writers will start with a long description of the setting, or a mundane event like waking up from a dream or talking to themselves in a mirror. Not only are these clichés, but we don’t learn anything about the story or the character.

Readers will keep reading when you make them care about a character and their motivations. Who are they and what do they want? That’s why the first paragraph – no, the first sentence – is important to hook your readers right away.

15 STASHED

3 LIKES

2. An excess of Backstory

Some history is a great idea to present your personality. However, save some for the remainder of the book. Regardless of whether you're composing a spine chiller, sentiment, or some other type, some criminal investigator's work with respect to the peruser is the thing that keeps them inquisitive.

In addition, an excessive amount of history before all else crashes the story when it ought to be moving along. Give your perusers time to become acquainted with your characters and experience passionate feelings for them.

14 STASHED

1 LIKE

3. Lack of Research on Genre

Different genres have their own set of conventions about word count, character ages, etc. Some new writers end up with a manuscript that’s too long, too short, or a premise that doesn’t clearly fit into a category.

Genres exist to make it easier for publishers to market a book and for bookstores to know where to shelve a book. Even if you’re doing a cross-genre, clearly decide under which category your manuscript falls. It will likely fall under one genre more than the other.

If you want to reinvent the wheel and do away with genres, realize the risks you’re taking.

15 STASHED

1 LIKE

Plotting is one of the most challenging aspects of crafting a story. No plot = no story. Sometimes writers make the mistake of thinking a series of events equals plot.

A plot has a beginning, middle, and end. Think back to your high school or creative writing classes regarding the elements of a plot: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.

16 STASHED

1 LIKE

5. Telling, Not Showing

The art of writing is also about how well you can pull readers into your world. Instead of simply explaining to your readers what’s happening, let them experience it as if they were actually there. Engage their five senses: see, hear, touch, smell, and taste.

15 STASHED

2 LIKES

6. Writing Like it's 1889

All writers look to other writers for inspiration. And what could be better than the classics? They’re a classic for a reason, right? This is why some writers end up writing overly flowery language or just end up sounding like they’re from a different era.Here’s nothing wrong with reading the classics. But realize that audiences now are different and the way we communicate has drastically changed since the Victorian era. Unless you’re writing historical fiction, write for a contemporary audience.

14 STASHED

1 LIKE

7. Lack of Editing

Editing and proofreading are essential parts of the writing process. They help with the effectiveness of your writing style and the clarity of your ideas. ... Editing requires you reread your draft to check for more significant issues, including organization, paragraph structure, and content.

I can tell you that editing is not easy. In fact, sometimes editing a piece is just as hard a writing it. Here are eight reasons why editing is a whole lot harder than you think it is: It's difficult to estimate an editing job accurately.

15 STASHED

1 LIKE

8. Query Too Soon

The final draft might not resemble your first draft at all! Having another set of eyes, like a friend or a writing group, read over your work and give you feedback is often useful.

15 STASHED

1 LIKE

9. Lack Of Research On Agents And Publishers

Sure, it can be tempting to shoot for as many agents or publishers as possible, hoping one of them will bite. But using a targeted approach will give you more chances of success. Look for agents or publishers that publish in your genre. Agents often post the types of manuscripts they’re currently looking for on Manuscript Wish List.

15 STASHED

1 LIKE

10. Not Reading Enough Books in Your Genre

As you’re doing research on the genre you’re writing for, it’s helpful to read as many books as you can in your specific genre. This way, you’ll get a better feel of the style of writing in your particular genre and the audience that might read it.  

Now that you know not to make the common mistakes new writers make, you can start polishing that manuscript. Enjoy the writing journey.

14 STASHED

1 LIKE

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.

GET THE APP: