10 Common Mistakes of Newbie Novelists



Still trying to get that first novel published? Maybe you’re making one of these common mistakes!

1. Your book is too long. Publishers and agents won’t be interested in a 100,000+ word novel by an unknown author. Somewhere between 80,000 and 90,000 words is what you’re aiming for, and that’s a safe range for any genre.

2. You have too many characters named Larry. One or two is fine, but anything over that is excessive.

3. You’re assuming that people will read your novel all the way to the end. Your reader is busy and may not have time to read your complete novel. Always put the the end of your story about half way through.

4. You’re asking Voltaire’s ghost to beta read your manuscript. He just won’t get the baseball metaphors.

5. You’re listening too much to your inner editor. What has your inner editor ever written besides erotic fan fiction?

6. You haven’t thought enough about your novel’s title.
You can probably cut it by 5000 words.

7. You’re in your captor’s basement, chained to a water pipe. Stop stalling and get writing!

8. You’re spending too much of your story explaining the mating habits of clams. Two clams fall in love and make babies. That’s it! Get on with your story!

9. You’re putting a shotgun in your mouth and pulling the trigger. Hemingway did this after he wrote his first novel, not before.

10. You’re confusing a typewriter with a blender.
If you’ve been working for three months and all you have to show for it is 125 gallons of strawberry and banana smoothies, you might be guilty of this.


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