7 Things That Will Ruin Your Novel

By on December 3, 2019

Don't ruin your novel by falling into these traps! Want to know what not to do when writing a novel? These seven things are those that all writers should be aware of to ensure that they don't ruin their book before they've even really begun!

How to ruin your novel in seven steps!

Force your writing

If you aren't feeling inspired, or don't have an idea for your story that fills you with excitement and joy, don't force it.

While it's important to keep trying to find inspiration and keep writing to practice and ensure you don't lose motivation, you shouldn't start your novel until you are confident that you have an idea that has legs, and that it's a story you are excited to write. If you don't have that flutter in your stomach, and that passion that will fuel your commitment to getting to the end, don't even bother to start. 

Let your inner critic get a word in

It's all too easy to worry about how badly your novel is going to turn out, and spend your time looking over your shoulder thinking that someone is going to to tell you that it's no good and you'd be better spending your time on other things. Letting your inner critic take over will gobble up your motivation, slow you down, and probably ruin the whole experience for you too. 

Think you don't need to learn

Writing is a craft, and you need to be willing to learn the practice of writing and be prepared to dedicate yourself to improving. If you think you can write, without studying, without learning, without being willing to take advice and criticism, you'll never be as good a writer as you could be, and you'll never see the results you want to see. 

Have a chip on your shoulder

No writer automatically deserves to be successful. Just as you shouldn't let your inner critic eat away at you, you also need to keep check of your arrogance too. When you inevitably have your manuscript rejected, it's important to understand and accept this is part of every writer's journey. If you feel too angry and hurt to try again, you are just cutting off your nose to spite your face. 

Write just to sell

While it's good advice to learn about your reader and what they want as well as general trends in the writing industry, if you get too bogged down or overwhelmed by this, it could be to your detriment. You need to tell your story in your unique way. If you are too formulaic or write only for the market, you will end up producing a mediocre book or something that feels like it had been done a million times before. 

Think you can get away with taking shortcuts

The writing process is long and arduous. You can't take shortcuts at any stage - no one can. You might think you can not bother editing, design your own cover, and publish without a marketing plan in place, but if you do these things, it's almost certain your book will fail. It can be frustrating, but it is only by giving your all at every stage of the process that you will provide your book with the best chance of success.

Give up

If at first, you don't succeed, try, and try again! Quitters will ruin their writing careers and will never know what might have been. The most successful writers all have one massive glaringly obvious thing in common - they didn't give up, and so neither should you!

The above are sure-fire ways to ruin your novel, so now you know how to avoid them, why not learn the worst mistakes writers make?

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bethany cadman
Bethany Cadman - bethanycadman.co.uk

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