7 Common Mistakes Authors Make

Valerie Thomas, Author

7 Common Mistakes Authors Make

Alternate title: why I stopped reading three books. I usually finish every novel I read, so this was surprising to me; to put a book down unfinished felt oddly satisfying, but also bothered me a little. The following list is my explanation/justification for my actions.

  1. Too much exposition. This happens a lot in fantasy novels. We get that the world is amazing, interesting, and unique—but readers would rather not spend the first twenty percent of a novel being spoon-fed every detail about it.
  2. Trying too hard to make a character likeable. This comes in one of two forms: explicitly attributing a character positive attributes (“she was the nicest girl ever to come out of Compton”) or crafting situations that have no purpose other than showing how nice the character is. I’m not sure which one’s more yak-worthy.
  3. Not worrying about likeability. The flipside of #2…

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