Common Mistakes That Will Annoy Your Readers

By on February 13, 2018
Common Mistakes That Will Annoy Your Readers - Writer's

When it comes to writing books, we are all going to make mistakes. Even the most experienced and successful authors do.

Even after redrafting and editing it is almost impossible to write an utterly flawless book, and that’s OK because your readers don’t need your book to be perfect, they just want to enjoy your story.

However, there are some easily made mistakes that your readers might be less forgiving of, and it is important to highlight and rectify these before you go on to publish your novel. Not doing so could lead to them to feel frustrated, annoyed and eventually put them off reading your book altogether!

So what are some common mistakes that might annoy your readers? Let’s take a look.

Using character names that are too complicated or similar to one another.

Calling your characters something that is impossible to pronounce is a definite no-no. Readers don’t want to struggle over what you have called your character. Having to re-read the character name each time it crops up will jerk them out of the story and quickly become irritating. Having characters whose names are too similar (unless for a specific purpose) could also confuse and muddle your reader and they might mix up one for the other.

Being overly descriptive

Writing beautiful, carefully thought out descriptions is one thing, but if you only focus on this and not on the pacing, the plot, the character development and so on, your story will seem dull and slow, no matter how good you are at setting the scene. Make sure your readers care about the people in your story and what’s happening to them. Without this you are on a path to nowhere.

Be too clever

Clever, original writing can be brilliant. But if you focus on this too much it is likely that other parts of your book will suffer. While experimenting is good, if you try to be too unusual, this will distract from your story and will likely confuse your reader. Jumping back and forth between different timelines, too many different character perspectives, using too much punctuation and so on can all have a negative effect.

Taking too long to get stuck in

You might think it is really important to painstakingly introduce every character in your novel, but if you don’t get them to act soon, your story will feel very stagnant. Readers want action, they want a decent pace, they want to know what happens. Don’t drag your story out for as long as possible, rather tell it in the most exciting and exhilarating way you can.

Not trusting your reader

Over explanation, showing not telling, or the author's voice coming through the text will all destroy your story. Trust that your reader will ‘get’ what you are trying to say, or the picture you are trying to convey. They don’t need everything spelt out for them, and doing so will really get on their nerves!

These common mistakes are ones most writers are guilty of at some point. However, as long as you capture these errors and figure out how to rectify them before you present your book to your readers then you have nothing to worry about! So next time you are editing your book keep a look out for these and when you spot them tackle them right away!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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