This blog is not intended to point fingers nor to make fun of anyone. This blog will shed light upon few mistakes authors fall into; hoping we can make you aware of them and dodge them in future and if you’ve already made a mistake remember that The most important thing is to learn from our mistakes!
The Traditional mistake “ Traditional Publishing is Better”
Some authors believe traditional is better. There is no perfect answer for this. However, we can surely mention the fact that it’s a huge misconception. Traditional publishing has many drawbacks for many people and self-publishing needs dedication and effort. You can know more about self-publishing and educate yourself through this blog post we published earlier.
While you’re deliberately involved in your amazing plot. Someone is crying from your poor grammar. Conducting regular revisions is crucial for any successful book. You can hire a proofreader or an editor to help you out through this.
Don’t you have that friend that gets the whole resolution as soon as they reach the middle of a novel? Think about their reaction. Let us call it expected symbolism. You’re trying your best to give a moral to the situations in your novel and this conflicts with the chill you want to give to your readers. Use foreshadowing smartly without killing the action and thrill. You’re not playing hide and seek with the reader. Hiding essential details in a story can be annoying and a major turn off for readers. Ask yourself if you’re reading this story what exactly do you need to figure out in this very situation.
Forcing a Theme
Remember that guy in your school that was trying to be funny but he wasn’t? The same goes for some writers. Some authors try to force jokes. It’s like saying “Hey, I’m funny” and you’re trying as much as possible in your writing to show this. Or you’re trying to show how a secret agent character is familiar with a foreign country so you over describe his ability to navigate through the streets and you turn the agent into a GPS.
The writing contest guru
This one goes mainly for novelists. You can use amazing language which can tremendously impress your college English professor yet it won’t have the same effect on a reader. This is not an English contest. Don’t get too involved in the formation of strongly structured sentences while neglecting a character’s depth or creating a momentum for your plot. Many people can publicly admit how amazing an author’s writing is, however, they still rate their novels negatively as their novel miss that spontaneity in storytelling that engages readers. Sometimes too much assonance, onomatopoeia, hyperbole, similes destroy your chance of engaging with readers.
Readers will feel lost if you’re storytelling a situation where a woman is serving in a restaurant and then an angry customer begins yelling at her for no reason; she suddenly starts performing some pure martial arts skills among the angry dude; which was not that logically expected action. This made up extreme situation won’t happen in a romance novel for instance. Consequently, depending on your genre your readers will expect a “logical frame”. Surprise them but don’t neglect their minds. Readers would question your narrative ability and question the reality of such situation. Anticipate your readers. If there is no logical reason or motive behind an action then probably you should remove it from your lines. Always be objective when evaluating your work; thereby at the end, your readers will read it not you.
Number of Pages
Many authors go for 450+ pages yet statistically speaking the top bestselling non-fiction books on average were around 270 pages in 2011. More than half of the books on the NY Times Bestsellers are between 250-350 pages. According to Statista.com, The average number of pages in the winning books that one prize in France(2000-2015); has exceeded 380 pages. In order to cut this short, authors need to understand their message clearly and decide accordingly if they can abbreviate their message in one book or they must go through an extensive series of books so that their message can be comprehended. Amy Collins, in her article Book Promotion: Do This, Not That – June 2017 symbolizes such situation of book pages with movies. She writes mentioning how movie directors may want to produce a 5-hour movie yet they just can’t because they know that their viewers want shorter length movies.
Print-Run vs Print on Demand
Having the number of pages tackled, it was necessary to bring forth the issue of printing books. Print-run over Print on demand; If you’re not totally sure about your expected number of sales then you don’t want to print a fairly high number of books and then feel desperate when they’re not purchased.
There are many alternatives to dodge such issue. You can go fully for e-books, blogs or magazines but you need to have a marketing and publicity plan for whatever alternative you’ll go for.
The Hook mistake
Writers sometimes seek to grab attention at the very early beginning of their book. Consequently, they make up a specific scene, eliminating a fine introduction for the characters. This forces the reader to form a story that will be destroyed as soon as they begin to read further.
It’s your turn!
What mistakes you’ve made you want others to learn from? What mistakes do you believe authors fall into?
Share your thoughts and help us educate aspiring authors!