Bad Writing Habits to Avoid When Creating a (Potential) Bestseller
It’s hard to imagine a writer who doesn’t want to improve their style and create amazing stories that touch people’s hearts. While there is no certain way to do so, you are still able to become better in your writing simply by analyzing your habits.
You might be surprised to find how many things affect the way readers see our writing. You might also be surprised to discover that many writers repeat the most obvious mistakes over and over again, failing to succeed even when their plot is strong and their characters are interesting.
Here are some bad writing habits that could stop you from creating outstanding text and a potential bestseller.
1. Your writing is too complex
Sure, sometimes this greatly depends on the context. However, in most cases readers find it hard to read text that is simply too long and convoluted.
This doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your writing style, though, as it’s the editing that matters most. Generally, short paragraphs and simple sentences are easier to digest than long ones, so you should aim for that.
A simple way to check for this is to read it out loud: if you run out of breath before the sentence ends, you probably should shorten it.
2. Your dialog doesn’t sound realistic
This is one of the biggest mistakes made even by experienced story writers. Their dialogue might look impressive at first glance, but it still might seem that something is wrong.
Probably that’s because people in real life don’t sound so impressive. Our speech isn’t polished and it doesn’t appear flawless. We might not formulate perfect sentences, but that’s okay because this makes them realistic.
While you certainly don’t want to imitate “real-life dialog” to the fullest, it helps to keep things relatively laid back so that readers can relate a bit more.
Read your dialog out loud, too; if it doesn’t sound like real-life conversations, consider tweaking it a bit and find that perfect balance.
3. You do all the editing yourself
Of course, writers have to edit their own work – however, they don’t need to do all the editing alone. Just like a professional reviewer knows how to write a book report much better than an amateur one, a professional proofreader can handle your paper more swiftly than a writer (even if this writer is good).
Do what you’re good at – writing, and entrust proofreading to people who specialize in it.
4. You aren’t consistent
Every book is about something. It contains a message the writer wants to convey. That said, a writer needs to be consistent to deliver this message clearly and smoothly.
Remember that your characters have their own values and have to either stick to them throughout the story or change them as the story develops (for reasons that have to be described specifically as well). Inconsistent characters not only look weak, but also affect the whole plot, making it feel rather uninspired.
5. You aren’t original
It’s hard to be 100 percent original these days when there are books literally about everything. However, this still doesn’t mean that it’s okay to repeat clichés and write stereotypical books just to milk a trend.
Sure, there are some books that become popular despite looking very stereotypical, but this usually happens either because they’ve exceeded in engaging readers or because they’ve turned out to be nothing like the readers expected them to be.
If you want to write a seemingly traditional book to break all the clichés, that’s okay. But writing something merely to ride the popularity wave can have some seriously unpredictable consequences. Again, find a balance and sprinkle some originality where possible.
It’s okay to learn from the best and to use someone else’s work as an example, but know the difference between using it as inspiration and simply copying it.
Stay original, improve and nurture your own style, build only the best writing habits – and you’ll see how quickly your story writing will improve.