The venture from becoming an aspiring writer to a published author is a bumpy ride with loads of ups and downs, but you will want to hold on to your passion and get through all ups and downs until you reach the publication point.
If you are brand new to the field, you will surely be making a few mistakes on the way. To make things easier for you, we have made a list of mistakes that you will want to avoid at all costs.
Here is what you need to look out for:
A Weak First Chapter
You simply cannot mess up the first chapter of your page. If you are passionate about writing, you are also an avid reader. Now, keep in mind the reader’s perspective while writing a book. For instance, you will want to know how readers decide to buy a book.
First impressions matter – the same rule applies to your books. Of course, you will have to hire a book cover designer as it will be the first point of contact that your readers will have with the book. Mostly, readers will be attracted to the book based on the book cover.
Now, what comes next is the first chapter. The reader will take no more than five minutes to decide whether or not they want to read your book from the initial pages that you put out there. With that said, you should aim to hook the reader’s attention and reel them into the story’s unfolding.
You don’t want to make the mistake of starting the first chapter with an extensive setting description. Nobody will feel attracted to it. You can use the main protagonist’s actions as a way to describe what the world is like.
The best way to start a story is by starting with the main character’s internal/ external conflict, as it will hook the reader’s attention, and they will feel empathy for the main character. You don’t want to make the mistake of leaving the good stuff for later.
While you don’t have to give it all out in the first chapter, you will want to give out at least some of the good stuff to stir the reader’s curiosity and make them want to read the rest to find out more about what is happening and why it is happening.
It wouldn’t be wrong to state that everything in the first chapter – the first sentence followed by the first paragraph is crucial as it might make or break your book. The better the start, the higher the stakes that your readers will read the entire book and leave good reviews.
Improper Writing Style
Your writing style depends on the genre you chose for your book. As a newbie writer, you don’t want to mess it up. Many newbie writers might share the passion for writing – but – they might struggle with incorporating words and making tricky choices, such as the contextual use of who vs. whom, the incorporation of direct language, and so on.
If you aren’t a native English speaker, you will want to improve your language and writing skills to make proper language structure and use choices.
It would be a great idea to work with a professional editor from the very start of your book journey, the reason for which is that it will save you loads of effort, and you will be able to fix the issues as they tend to arise after the completion of each milestone.
The writing style is that each writer has their own writing style, which is based on what they are writing, their genre, their formality level, their use of words, and their general approach to writing. As a prolific writer, you should be able to adopt different writing styles – depending on the genre and the narrative.
While working on your book, you must also follow the golden rule of avoiding ambiguity. You will want to look at the book from your reader’s perspective. Your reader is confused when they are thrown into the world of your book, which is why you should avoid ambiguity.
You will want to start with using a few characters initially only, and also, don’t overwhelm your readers with an expository of the world that your book is about. Ideally, you should use your character’s action and display of conflict to hook the reader’s interest and tell them the story.
Lack of Research
If you aren’t passionate about the subject that you are telling – your readers will be able to tell. Readers can differentiate between passionate writers and those who only write for the sake of writing. So, it doesn’t matter whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction; you will want to immerse yourself in the writing process.
Ideally, you should choose a subject that you are excited to write about and share with your readers. As an aspiring author, you certainly have something to share with the world – so – even if you are writing fiction, you will want to do our research to ensure that your story aligns with facts.
Suppose you are writing a story about a cowboy, and the cowboy gets in a fight where they are firing shots. Now, you cannot say that they fired eight shots when the cowboy is using a typical revolver that can fire six bullets in a round.
Similarly, suppose you are writing a horror story and setting in Victorian-era London. In that case, you will want to do extensive research while writing your story about the Victorian era and how the people were back then.
This way, you will be writing believable fiction as it will perfectly sync with the facts of the era at that time. Also, you will want to do extensive research on your chosen genre.
Different genres have their respective set of conventions to follow, including the length and the narration style. So, you will want to research the style, genre, setting, and everything else you decide to incorporate into your story.