10 things that red-flag a newbie novelist.

But… but… but… I love putting quotes or snippets at the top of the chapter – like Frank Herbert (Dune etc)! lol I’ve just finished reading a first novel that did so much telling before we got to the erotic bits that were promised by the raunchy cover art that I very nearly nodded off. Luckily there were some really clever bits in there to keep my interest, but even so the leading protagonists were Mary Sue and Gary Stewing like mad right from the start.
All authors should take a (translated) lesson from the Scottish Bard however – And would some Power give us the gift
To see ourselves as others see us!
I know I do most of those 10 things too, even now! *blushes* 😉




by Anne R. Allen

Beginning novelists are like Tolstoy’s happy families. They tend to be remarkably alike. Certain mistakes are common to almost all beginners. These things aren’t necessarily wrong, but they are difficult to do well—and get in the way of smooth storytelling

They also make it easy for professionals—and a lot of readers—to spot the unseasoned newbie.

When I worked as an editor, I ran into the same problems in nearly every new novelist’s work—the very things I did when I was starting out.

I think some of the patterns come from imitating the classics. In the days of Dickens and Tolstoy, novels were written to be savored on long winter nights or languid summer days when there was a lot of time to be filled. Detailed descriptions took readers out of their mundane lives…

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