Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 62: Head-Hopping POV

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 62: Head-Hopping POV You know you’ve moved beyond recreational storytelling to serious writing the moment you discover you’re hopelessly confused about POV. Other than perhaps show vs. tell, no fundamental principle of fiction dogs writers more than creating a solid narrative—which often begins by understanding how to avoid head-hopping. It … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 62: Head-Hopping POV

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 60: Flat Plots

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 60: Flat Plots One of the most deflating criticisms authors hear is that “they’re writing flat plots.” Not only does this (seem to) indicate a certain lack of personal depth, it’s also a sign the story is boring and forgettable. Fortunately, there’s no reason you need ever fall prey to this … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 60: Flat Plots

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 59: Overly Complex Plots

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 59: Overly Complex Plots Complex plots? Good. Overly complex plots? Not so good. Complex plots are the stuff of literary mastery. They can take a story beyond a single dimension into an intricate exploration of life. Dickens, Mann, Eliot, and so many more literary luminaries show us how to do … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 59: Overly Complex Plots

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 63: Purple Prose

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 63: Purple Prose Words, glorious words! Fellow logophiles, were we not initially drawn to writing because of our sesquipedal amours? We love words. We love big words, arcane words, chewy words, beautiful words. We love combinations of words that are bold, poetic, eloquent, and sometimes even showy. So it’s little … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 63: Purple Prose

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 58: Too Much Description

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 58: Too Much Description Sooner or later, most writers will get their hands slapped over description, whether it’s too much description or too little. The bad news is that this is a big deal in narrative fiction. Get the balance of your description wrong, and it could throw off your entire story. … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 58: Too Much Description

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 57: Dead-End Relationships

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 57: Dead-End Relationships Once upon a time there were two characters. They got along very well, cared for each other very much, always had good advice for one another, and always, always, always had each other’s back. The End. Oh yeah, and even though it’s hardly worth mentioning, there was … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 57: Dead-End Relationships

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 56: Unfulfilled Foreshadowing

 K.M. WEILAND Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 56: Unfulfilled Foreshadowing Sometimes writing feels like magic. You look back at the story you’ve created and it seems like it came from beyond you. One of the coolest examples of this is with foreshadowing. Some little something you wrote in the early chapters without even thinking about it … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 56: Unfulfilled Foreshadowing

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 55: Beginning Your Story Too Late

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 55: Beginning Your Story Too Late Story beginnings are fraught with important decisions. But perhaps none of those decisions is more important than the question of when to begin your story. Too early or too late—either one can prevent readers from engaging with the story and obsessively reading on to find out … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 55: Beginning Your Story Too Late

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 54: Story Events That Don’t Move the Plot

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 54: Story Events That Don’t Move the Plot One of your chief jobs as a writer is to come up with story events—stuff that happens in your story. Coming up with these exciting elements is likely why you started writing in the first place. Like C.S. Lewis, you were zapped with … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 54: Story Events That Don’t Move the Plot

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 53: No Contractions in Dialogue

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 53: No Contractions in Dialogue What’s the worst writing mistake an author can make? It’s a broad one: doing something you think makes you look sophisticated and clever, when really… it doesn’t. A common manifestation of this is a conscientious avoidance of contractions in dialogue and narrative. I’ll admit I … More Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 53: No Contractions in Dialogue