If you feel like it’s taking a really, really long time to write your novel, it may be because your making mistakes that are costing you time and energy. Don’t worry, nearly every writer makes mistakes and some mistakes are made more than others.
Here are four of the most common mistakes that are made:
You Edit While You Write
You’re writing along then you stop to edit. Then you write a little more and stop to edit. Editing as you write is a surefire way to delay the completion of your novel. Editing is definitely an important part of the writing process, but you should wait until you have a large amount completed (if not the entire piece) before you start red inking your pages.
If you’re bound and determined to edit before you complete your book, try writing a few chapters at a time then editing those. This will allow you to get everything from mind to paper without the interrupts that editing makes.
You Don’t Take Breaks
If you’re on a deadline, breaks probably seem impossible! But, if you don’t take a break now and then, your novel could suffer. Breaks allow your brain to rest. Writers who don’t take breaks sometimes find that their writing gets repetitive. Breaks provide you the opportunity to get some fresh air and some new inspiration. Go for a walk and people watch, eavesdrop on conversations… you never know, you may just see something that could inspire a juicy twist in your next chapter.
You Don’t Know Your Characters
Your characters are your BFF’s… so shouldn’t you know everything about them? Yes, you should! Sometimes, writers get so excited to start their novel that they don’t develop their characters first. This can cause some trouble down the road.
Instead of figuring out your characters as you go, create character profiles first. Develop a personality questionnaire and fill it out for all of your characters. Give them a backstory, give them friends and enemies, give them likes and dislikes… ask questions that you’d want to know as if he/she was a real person standing in front of you.
You Avoid Conflict
You want everyone to get along and to live happily ever after. But, c’mon, even Disney films have conflict! Avoiding conflict in your novel will likely cause it to be boring. So, add some drama! Don’t be afraid to add some twists and turns and do something out of your comfort zone. It just may make your novel!
Now that you know some of the most common mistakes that novelists write, try your best to avoid them. You’ll be surprised at how much faster your book will get written and how much more you’ll love it.