How to Write a Novel: The Most Common Writing Mistakes

The process of writing a novel sounds mysterious, difficult and like a long journey to most writers who have never written a full novel before. It’s not as hard as you think – and most writers who have a good story to tell can learn how to write a novel in just a few weeks to months if they approach the story and writing process the right way from the beginning.

Here are some of the most common mistakes that writers make while writing and how you can learn to avoid them to ensure a faster, better writing process and a stunning bestseller story.

A Mountain from a Molehill

There’s an expression about making a mountain out of a molehill, and this can have a lot to do with how writers approach their fiction. A novel can seem big and intimidating to most writers – and this can sometimes mean that they never finish The Big Project and have a lot of false-start manuscripts buried away somewhere.

Don’t worry about the size of your manuscript. First, focus on telling a good story. Whether that story fits into one page or one hundred is something you can worry about later.

Some stories will insist on being a novel, others work better when they’re shorter. Let the story – and the characters – guide you to where they should go. (Proper outlining is also a huge help for any writer.)

Unnecessary Detail

A lot of newer writers (and many other experienced ones) will go into far too much detail about things that have no impact on their characters, their story or their plot. You don’t need to describe the grass or the scenery for ten pages when it takes five to say it well – and readers can always, always see when you’re stretching it just to keep them busy.

Don’t offend your readers with any unnecessary details your story doesn’t really need.

Also, never be afraid to cut out any unnecessary detail during the editing phase!

Repetition for Words

Repetition is common, and it’s something that you’re likely to spot later. Words that are used too many times in a row gets annoying to any reader – and often times there are far better ways to say it if you just put a little bit more thought into the sentence or paragraph.

Getting Stuck on Spelling

Don’t you just hate it when you’re right in the groove of typing a good story and you suddenly make a spelling error and have to backspace? This can make you lose your typing speed (and sometimes the entire flow of what you were working on).

Here’s the trick: You don’t have to fix spelling mistakes immediately. Even though it’s often a compulsion for writers to do it, spelling mistakes can be fixed later – and you should never interrupt the flow of good writing.

Missing Your Own Plot

Have you lost the plot? If you’re writing any fiction, it’s important to make sure that you never do. Outlining is a vital part of the writing process, and one you should pay attention to in order to make sure that you know where your story will start and finish.

This gives the writer more of a sense of direction, and it stops you from coming up with half a manuscript and then realizing you have no idea where you’d like to take your story.

Always outline – and always make sure that you have all the plot details and twists worked out before you write a single word of your story down. Foresight can be a great thing for writers, and readers will appreciate the effort when it gives them a great story.