As a beginner writer, you are prone to make a few mistakes – mistakes are an essential part of the writing process, as is failing. Nonetheless, none of this should keep you from writing. To make things easier for you, we have made a list of all aspiring writers’ common mistakes.
By knowing these mistakes beforehand, you might avoid them or fix them.
Fixing the mistakes is especially crucial if you want to go the traditional publication route. You will want to understand what your agents really want.
Now – let us look at the common mistakes that newbie writers make and how you can avoid these mistakes.
An Awful Concept
The first mistake many first-time writers make is integrating a terrible concept that just doesn’t work and confuses the readers that they don’t want to read it beyond the first few pages. Consider it the following way – you are reading an adult book that includes the life story of a parrot that once belonged to the author.
Another awful concept example would be if the story of the book revolved around an apparently “sad” story of a woman who is depressed, decides to take up a part-time job, and then also takes up drawing classes.
None of the mentioned book ideas is worth giving the books a shot and making the book worth reading. Such bas concepts will not even evoke the interest of a literary agent. You need to be mindful of the idea of your book – the book needs to belong to some genre so that the agent can categorize it.
Also, the book idea needs to be interesting enough to make it stand out from the shelf so that your ideal readers will want to read it.
Fluff in Writing
Most aspiring writers ignore making every sentence as precise as possible. Not all books can carry too much garbage, so you will want to cut down on words and ensure that your writing is economical.
When it comes to editing, you will want to edit ruthlessly to the point that you will want to cut out at least 10,000 words from your manuscript by the time you might want to get in touch with a professional editor.
And while losing words, you will want to ensure that you don’t lose any content. Suppose you have a sentence that contains 12 words – but – you can express the same sentence in 9 words – you should aim at that.
You get the point – you will aim to lose words but not the content. You are only removing the extra words – the surplus – and the significant part is that the reader will be able to understand the description better this way.
Of course, your writing is your baby, which means that it will hurt you to cut out work. Nonetheless, you will want to be as brutal as possible – your work will turn out great once you are done. You will want to work strategically so that cutting out the fluff doesn’t feel like a tough job.
For instance, you will want to start an editing session after the completion of each chapter. A good editing session will give form and structure to your sloppy prose, and you will also feel more confident about the book’s quality in general.
You will want to review your draft in stages and approach each editing and proofreading task separately. If you aren’t sure how your writing stands, you can try noticing excessive words, awkward transitions, and other issues by reading the text aloud.
A Book that Doesn’t Fit the Genre
You will be surprised to know that many newbie writers make the mistake of writing a book that doesn’t suit the genre. In other words, the book doesn’t ramp it up enough. For instance, if a newbie writer is working on a thriller – their final manuscript doesn’t quite thrill the readers.
They might write a comedy that has no funny instances in it. They might write a romance, but the final book might not be as stimulating as you expect a romance novel to be. If the newbie writer has come up with literary fiction, it might not be dazzling to the reader as you would expect from a literary piece.
If you choose a genre, you will dive into it and embrace all the elements that make the book fit into that genre. Of course, you will be coming up with a unique story to make your book stand out on the shelf – but – you will want to write a book that ramps it up.
Suppose you have written a thriller novel; you will want to ensure that the thriller is “thrilling” by ramping things up.
Did you know that agents only reject 999 out of every 1000 books because they are published too soon? With that said, you will want to be absolutely sure that you don’t publish a novel that isn’t really completed. You might have reached the final punctuation mark – but – have you asked a professional proofreader to go through the book?
You might have completed the book – but – in reality, you are only halfway through the book. Many manuscripts need to be reworked, edited, and reworked again. This is the only way books get better when they are published.
Even if you aren’t opting for the traditional route of publication – but – you are opting for self-publication, you will still want to work closely with a professional editor and proofreader to eliminate all potential ambiguities, plot holes, grammar errors, spelling mistakes, and so on before hitting publication.
You will benefit tremendously from the editorial feedback of your hired professional editor, who will keep a close eye on your manuscript for any emerging weakness and point it out to you so you can rectify it before sending it to the literary agent or publication – if you are self-publishing.
We recommend working closely with a professional editor from the very start of the book-writing process. This way, you won’t only be constantly improving the quality of your work but also ensure that there are no remaining mistakes when you are ready to send your book for publication.