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5 Mistakes Fiction Authors Make that Annoy Readers

Mistakes that will cost you

Writing a story is hard enough, you have to know much about the story you are planning to write, the plot and how the characters will grow. If you are writing your first book, trying to entice readers into loving the world and characters that you have created is a challenge. Planning your first word is a challenge, plotting your first kill is fun. Ultimately, you want to share that story to the world. Everyone’s dream is to have someone who loves your story. It is hard, but plenty of authors have made it.

As a book reviewer, I would like to tell you that the star rating is just a person’s personal recommendation. If someone likes your book, then you will get five stars, simple as that. Your job is not really to please all the readers, but to tell a story. Let me be honest, there is no pleasing everyone.

If you must fear, fear the multiples of DNF, or do not finish. Too many DNF will spell the end of your book, and possibly your reputation as an author. Readers are generally forgiving, because everyone makes mistakes.

However, here are 5 mistakes that I think you should be aware of.

Not Moving Forward

Playing Doctor: by Kate Allure
Royal Marriage Market by Heather Lyons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Examples of books that did not move forward much. They are not bad, I finished reading them.

When you tell a story, you will have the beginning, and the end. The biggest mistake for a book is not moving forward much. You can run from A to Z, or you can take a stroll. If you go from A to B, and that takes 500 pages, then no one would want to read it. Without moving forward, your characters cannot grow. If there is no story movement or character growth, readers will not like it.

Even memoirs and autobiographies will have a story that is moving forward. A story should be a journey that you take your readers along. It might get boring if you just stay in one place.

Fluff and Fillers

vampire diaries series
Soundless by Richelle Mead

Nothing irks me more than fluff and fillers in the book. These two are just examples of books that I think have too much fluff and not enough story.

What do I mean by that?

My bigger hate is the fact that some readers write all filler to make the book into a trilogy, when in fact it can be condensed into two books, sometimes even a large book.

 

 

I understand the pull of trilogy, you get more money because you sell three books. However, if you do it too often, people catch on and will no longer want to read your work. I am generally forgiving if you are a debut author, you want to share every detail, every word is important. IF you cannot cut your own words, hire someone professional to do it.

If you erase parts of the book, you can still understand the story- that is fluff. The dialogues, movement must have a reason to be there. Why would you want to waste a page writing about someone getting ready for work? Unless the person is going to die half way, or a piano drops from the sky. No matter how well written, that page will get an eye roll and a skip. Too many, and the reader might abandon your book altogether.

Most readers are polite, they will usually wait until your character finish getting ready before he/ she dies. Spare us the boring details, and get to the killing, do not wait till breakfast.

How You Tell a Story

The Replacement Wife

The Replacement Wife is one example of how not to tell a story. It tells a story about a wife’s quest to find a new wife for her husband. She wants a person with a particular set of qualities, so her son Max will be looked after while she sets off with her new lover.

It is not the story that is bad, it is the way it was told. Some readers find that they could not relate to the main character, hence gave it poor ratings. If the author chose a different point of view to tell the story, or use a different person as a main character (like the husband), things might be different.

Too Much Inconsistencies

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Bible ( I still think) holds the most inconsistent information, but there are many stories written that suffers this problem.

Some books, like The Goldfinch, end up with bad ratings due to this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are not only talking about inconsistent characters, but plots and tools too. You have to remember every tool used, where it was last seen. Not to mention if you have an injured character or you have left someone behind. There is a lot of things to write/ look after, readers do understand, we just do not care.

Make too many obvious mistakes, your book will be put down and worse, marked DNF. If you have been a pantser, it might be worth your while to become a plotter. At least, keep track of the main issues and characters. Use sticky notes, highlighters or whatever, remember where you left the murder weapon.

Not Thinking Enough

I end this post with a video of this children’s book. You could ask what was the author thinking, but you can easily ask if the author was thinking at all. Hence, if you have a genre in mind, like Young Adult or Juvenile especially, you have to write with that audience in mind. From Title to the ending, you do not want to risk a parent’s wrath for contaminating a child’s mind.

There are many things a good writer must remember: characters people can relate to, the plot that is not flat, the names must not be too complicated. It takes a lot of the a writer, even more to be a great one. Which is why most writers are also readers, they have to know what is out there.

Most importantly, they know what is not being written yet.
 

Laugh away, but remember this video when you write your first book.

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