The experience of writing a book can be a roller coaster ride. This is especially true for first-time novelists. Not only is it challenging to get a handle on the writing process as a whole, but you initially need to figure how to reproduce on paper what you’ve imagined in your mind. It is hardly surprising that the work of most first-time novelists is typically brimming with mistakes. These are lapses that have cost many aspiring writers the opportunity to achieve their publishing dreams – mistakes that, in a considerably competitive industry, most publishers have little time for.
MISTAKES FIRST-TIME NOVELISTS SHOULD AVOID WHEN WRITING A BOOK
As a first-time novelist, it is essential that you put your best foot forward. The only way to stand out from the crowd and get ahead in the game is to produce content that immediately piques the interest of potential publishers. This of course means crafting quality content while avoiding the first-time novelist mistakes. The following are those most common to avoid when writing a book:
It’s easy to become overly wordy when writing a book. First-timers generally really struggle with this. Not only do they tend to over-describe and over-explain, but they also use a lot of redundant words and sentences. The need to bolster one’s nouns and adjectives usually sets them apart as an amateur, making it difficult for publishers to take them seriously. As a newbie, make every effort to eliminate unnecessary words and descriptions. You need to streamline your content. Be succinct and to the point.
Telling Rather than Showing
First-time novelists have a tendency to provoke information overload. This is a pitfall that professional writers have been known to stumble into but which primarily befalls first-time novelists. Too much background information, pointless details and things that the readers could fill on their own, make the story all tell and no show. As a writer, you need to allow your readers to engage with the world you have created. This means providing just enough information for readers to fill in the gaps using their own imaginations.
Excessive Character Descriptions
New writers always struggle with the concept of introducing characters, particularly in the area of description. The need to describe a character in intimate detail, from head to toe, eye color to hair color turns some publishers off. Rather than painting readers an unnecessarily detailed picture of a given protagonist or antagonist, describe characters through their behavior, body language and actions.
Head-hopping is a term used for telling a story from a variety of viewpoints. While there are professional authors that can successfully head hop, a number of first-time novelists try their hand at it and fail spectacularly. The tendency to bounce back and forth between characters in the exact same scene creates confusion if not done right. Numerous viewpoints can also dilute the attachment to your characters for most readers. The best stories are typically told through the viewpoint of a single protagonist through whom readers can attach and connect with.
Most first-time novelists have a relatively rational need to start their novels slow. They slog through back stories and histories to create the setting before they begin picking up speed. When writing a book, keep in mind that readers want to be intrigued from the very first page. Each scene must be constructed to compel them to read the next
Titles sell books. Choosing a book title is ultimately the most important decision an author will make when it comes to selling the most books possible. While writing a book is important for an author, choosing a good title is equally as important. Most first-time novelists often take this for granted. Since the book title is what creates a spark in a reader’s interest, authors should choose their book title very wisely. Novices should realize that the right title for their book can do more to increase sales than any other single factor or decision they make.
Writing a book is an immense undertaking, so as a first-time novelists it’s common to make a few mistakes at the start. It’s learning from the mistakes (especially those made by more seasoned authors) that will truly lead you to mastering your craft.