01 02 03 Amorina Rose Writes: Common errors (Don’t worry, only talking about 5!) 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Common errors (Don’t worry, only talking about 5!)


            I have been working hard on finishing my short story for the anthology and a re-write of my novel.  It is hard work.  I don’t use those words lightly at all because it’s not just the physical where we sit at the typewriter but also the mental process.  It is exhausting to arrange those words on the page and in the case of a re-write unbelievably numbing.  The irony here is that for me this is all pre-publishing.  I am in absolute awe of the authors out there that do this as part of the whole process of a published author.  I mean I am working to my own ideas at present and that is hard enough but when you are working to feed-back then the pressure is really on.  As usual it set me thinking and I remembered reading a brief article not so long ago, discussing errors writers make, common errors, five (5) in fact. Of course there are a lot more but let’s narrow them down for the moment as feeling overwhelmed is as always a short panic-stricken breath away.

            I am hoping you find this post helpful like I did the article for the now.  By this I mean right this second because you are at a stage in your work where you want to walk away because getting it right is so difficult.  I needed a reminder as I was writing.  I needed it whilst I was actively involved in the process.  It might sound strange but I find it reassuring when I am struggling with putting pen to paper  to look at things  that I do know but like most of us often forget when bent over the keyboard.  Another reminder came to mind just then – there are a lot of ‘us’.  Indeed it is frightening the number of authors out there in contrast to the few that publishers actually choose.  These points or common errors come directly from information collected from publishers.  The surprising thing is how often theses same mistakes are repeated by so many.  Or is it? When the muse is in control it is difficult to stop and second-guess yourself.  We just write just like I am doing now with my fingers whilst my brain prays I am not making too many errors, and here I mean grammatical never mind anything else. 

            So what these common mistakes?  I hate this first one -Reporting instead of Writing Scenes.  Unless the reader can engage then we lose them.  Trusting yourself as an author to let the reader work it out is hard.  Authors are such babies at times and sub-consciously beat themselves up with worry that the reader has missed the point.  Well, the reader won’t even bother to keep turning the pages never mind finding the point if all we do is report facts and events.  Readers need to feel part of the action to suspend their disbelief. You know this, I even know this in my fledgling stage but I still make that error and so do the professionals.  What to do? Simple! We need to keep writing and finish and then go back and read our work like a reader would (Good Luck with that!).  What to really do?  Simple!  We have to hand it over to someone else but before it goes to the publisher.  I have my beautiful ladies but it still isn’t enough.  We know that though.  We know even as a strong unit we may miss things but knowing and acknowledging is a good start.

Another common error is Boring DialogueThis is really hard because often we rely on this to engage the reader.  My friend Sue recently read a scene I wrote to explain something.  She said it was great dialogue but could I cut at least two thirds of it out? I mean as in completely out and yes I am groaning in pain as I remember this and tell you about it. The dialogue was fine but it did not advance the story and it explained a conflict way too soon that wasn’t even between the two talking.  Why would the reader keep reading?  So even when you get it right you can still get it so wrong?  Yes you can because you have over-told, become bland, or worse gotten caught up in irrelevant and boring chit-chat that may happen in real-life forgetting a reader has a short time span to engage in our fantasy.  We have to make it time effective and enthralling. Damn, why did I give her that piece to read?  I love you Sue but couldn’t you have lied just a little?

The third error is the Talking Heads and my reaction is this next ungrammatical and completely nonsensical reply. Oooooooooohhhhhhhnnnnnnnnnnnooooooooooooo!  I know I do this one all the time especially in my dialogues. The article rightly says that you “do not want your readers to read your dialogue while trying to guess where your characters are or what they are doing.”  Somewhere in all of this is the fine line between telling, doing, surroundings, speaking, moving and sensory details.  Where did that last one come from? Yep!  If you guessed the next mistake then I hate you but you did guess right.  If we are to not engage our reader then the Absence of Sensory Details is essential to our downfall.  There is no fine line with this one except in our choice of syntax perhaps. Sensory details are what stand between being absorbed into the drama or sitting on the sidelines waiting for it to end.  The article says it very well when it says that “readers need to know what your characters hear and see, the scents they are inhaling and the feel of the objects around them.”  It engages the imagination by giving them something to relate to that is vibrant and real.  
And so we reach the last but not least of our five common mistakes - Failing to Provide ConflictI could say it is the last one because it is the easiest to correct and understand but then you may never believe a word I say again.  The conflict is the icing on the cake but that icing needs to be spread throughout the cake so cutting the cake into layers and icing between is a very fine idea.  If the icing sits just on the top it is nice but disappears too quickly.  We need to savour every mouthful so that going back for more may be a sin but one we are willing to take a chance on.  The icing on the top may be the conflict (main) of your leads but the icing in the layers lingers on the tongue creating “an element of surprise and keeps things fresh and interesting.”  Conflict needs to vary in levels and sources throughout the novel and is an art that requires lots of effort. 

Five simple things and yet without these things the words on the pages are there but not alive and captivating.  I really do have to stop reading these articles as my head then is so full of ideas I feel may eventually end in an explosion but like my writing I can’t.  I want to know things, be reminded of things and I want to grow.  I may not succeed but the feeling is quite good knowing I am trying, and maybe this time I may get some of it right.  In the meantime my heartfelt thanks to the writers that do get it right and engage this reader.  I survive each day because of them and the pleasure they bring. To read more at the source go to:  https://www.chatebooks.com/blog-Writing-Fiction-The-5-Common-Mistakes-Authors-Should-Avoid

Ci vediamo,


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