Every author makes mistakes; that’s why they engage editors to clean up their mistakes. But these four common writing mistakes are prevalent even in the works of experienced authors.

A Generic First Chapter

Many authors make the mistake of starting their first chapter with details that make for a boring read because they are trying to ‘lay a foundation’ or set the tone for their story. They also follow the old pattern of the beginning-middle-end plot structure.

The very first chapter of a manuscript is paramount, as it determines if the reader will continue with the book or not. Rather than introducing a generic first chapter, set the tone of the manuscript and appeal to the readers’ emotions. Nothing stops you from starting your book from the climax to thrill your readers with suspense.  You might also want to look up why hook sentences are important in your writing.

Poor Transitioning

The appropriate use of transition words is something that more than a few writers struggle with. Rather than deal headlong with the challenge of moving their story forward in an engaging way, they fill those little pockets of space with too much or insufficient information leaving the reader dissatisfied. Intending authors must learn how to properly move their narrative from one point to the next.

Too Much Information in a Chapter/Paragraph

Passing across too much information at once, especially in a paragraph or chapter is a big turn off.  For novels or short stories, for instance, you should try to focus on a tiny piece of the puzzle for each chapter or paragraph, to avoid the temptation of unnecessary fillers or your work looking too compacted. That way, your reader does not feel lost.

Awkward Formatting in Manuscripts

This is also a common error writers/authors make in their manuscript. Once you decide on font style and size, let it run consistently through the entire manuscript to avoid your book discouraging the readers. Or how would you feel if you visit a friend’s home and found the whole place dirty and unkempt? Disappointed, right? Well, that’s how your readers or publisher would feel if your manuscript is poorly formatted too. Check out these ten great writing tips from authors to help you write better.

Apart from the writing mistakes stated above, there are several other mistakes  authors make today. Do you know some not listed here? Please share them in the comment box below.

Chima Rachael J.

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