By Paula Berinstein
Tale advisor and Writing express host Paula B. offers an annotated record of forty two universal blunders she sees forever. Divided into characters, constitution, reader engagement, the marketplace, and mechanics, the thing deals every thing from the Tease--the author who will get readers all excited yet does not keep on with via, to the Bleeding Heart--the author who will not "murder his darlings."
About 7000 phrases.
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The same reviewer who pointed out that a great antagonist is just a variation on a complex protagonist reminded me that publishers like being able to fit your story into a specific bookstore section. If your genre isn't clear, you may have trouble selling to them. 34. The Blurter. Your story is wrong for your target audience. Agents and publishers expect YA (young adult), middle grade, children's, and adult stories to conform to certain conventions, although there is wiggle room. YA tends to be about your protagonist finding him- or herself as an individual and is usually aimed at ages 15 or 16 through 18 or 20.
The Blabbermouth. You tell too much and show too little. When you show an event moment by moment instead of telling the reader about it from a distance, you engage us. That way we get involved in the action as it happens. You do need to tell sometimes. If you showed everything, your story would get verrrrrrrry looooooong because showing time moves much more slowly than telling time. Strive for a balance with the emphasis on showing. 23. The Bore. You throw in too much backstory early on. If you start with a lot of backstory, you're probably doing a lot more telling than showing.
When you go on a date you look for common ground with the other person, so you discuss the movies and music you like. But in a book, unless that conversation leads to some momentous discovery or change in the characters' situation, it's boring. I hate to be harsh about this because I know how passionate writers are about their interests, but trust me--even if your readers love the same bands you do, they don't want to hear your characters chat about them unless the conversation advances the story.
42 Common Mistakes Novelists Make by Paula Berinstein