You’re finally sitting at your computer, creating your first novel. You’re a little worried, and you’re wondering what mistakes you’re making. After all, you’ve made the decision to make writing novels your life, and if you’re like other writers you’re probably somewhat of a perfectionist.

Here are some of the common mistakes that you should avoid.

Mistake # 1: Focusing on Plot First

Believe it or not, the plot of the story really should be left to the last thing while formulating a novel. Don’t misunderstand, the plot is extremely important to the overall story, but the characters are what the readers will relate to. By taking the time to develop the characters first, the plot line will develop more easily.

Mistake # 2: Placing Facts Before Relationships

In a very real sense, good novels are complete worlds. Knowing this, novice writers often start off, guns blazing, and write about the world in vibrant detail, creating a lush world fit for any story. It is here, by beginning with the facts and figures, that many writers lose their way. If you think about the real world, about your life, the important parts aren’t the facts and figures, but the relationships. It isn’t about the details, but how your characters deal with the world around them.

Instead of focusing first on the details of your novel’s environment, try focusing on creating the relationships that your readers will believe in. Remember, relationships span age generations, income variation and even racial lines. Think of your world. Unless you live in a secluded community or a convent, chances are you encounter a number of different people in your day. A character in your novel should have the same opportunity.

Mistake # 3: Too Much Information

One of the great pleasures of reading a novel is that it allows your imagination to run wild. A good novel will allow the reader to fantasize, to live vicariously through the pages a life that they might not lead normally. While providing detailed descriptions is a great tool, it is important to leave a little bit to the imagination. Give the reader a starting point, or a detailed framework, and allow them to fill in the rest. For example, if your character is walking in the rain, you can describe how the water droplets hit their face, but you don’t need to describe how the water trickled down to his chin. The reader should be allowed to imagine that by himself.

These are just three of the common mistakes that new writers make when they are working on a large project. By knowing how to recognize them, you can avoid them from the start.


Avoid more mistakes than you can count! Get the expert instruction you need inside The Book Ninja Academy today!

Photo courtesy Shutterstock, Vlue

Kristen Joy

Kristen Joy

Kristen Joy Laidig is the founder of The Book Ninja. She has authored over 40 books, started over 50 publishing companies, trained over 10,000 authors worldwide, has her black belt in karate, and eats way too much chocolate. She currently changes lives through her students… one published message at a time, manages her two retail stores Toy Box Gifts & Wonder® and Nerdvana Outpost in the heart of her newfound hometown, Chambersburg, PA, is in the start-up phase of at least three new businesses at any given time, and generally causes anyone reading this bio to be out of breath. On her “off” time (what’s that?) she brainstorms business ideas with her awesome husband, the great Public Domain Expert himself, Tony Laidig, and hangs out with her two ragdoll kitties. She’s even been known to sleep... occasionally.

Leave a Reply