Top 5 Mistakes New Writers Make (and how to avoid them)

A common question I've been asked since starting this writing journey has to do with mistakes. Which makes perfect sense - everyone wants to know more than just what to do, they want to know what not to do.

I wanted to take the time today to talk about the five most common mistakes I see writers make (mostly beginners).

If you would rather hear me than read this long-winded post, make sure to watch the video below!

Do not feel bad if you find yourself making any one of these mistakes. The first step to correcting it is realizing that you're doing it, and the better you get as a writer, the easier it'll be to naturally avoid these things.

That's not to say that I never do any of these myself...I'm currently battling with a case of one of them in particular, but I'll get into that in a minute.

These aren't necessarily in any order, as I think all of them should be avoided equally.

A lot of new writers are concerned about writing enough for it to be considered an entire novel. Or they might be worried about writing every scene in fine detail so that the reader can picture it perfectly in their minds. Every beginning writer worries about this at some point, including me. I've come to realize, as most do, that I have plenty to write about. There's no need to over explain a situation and oftentimes the reader can build an image in their minds with minimal description required from you.

One thing that greatly contributes to this is an excitement for writing. You're finally doing it. You're writing a story that's been trapped in that brain of yours for months, sometimes years. At the end of a writing session, though, you might find that you've managed to write 1,600 words about your character getting ready in the morning. There's absolutely nothing wrong with being excited as long as you're able to weed out the extra words in the editing phase.

To keep yourself from falling into the wordy McWord trap, you should periodically ask the question "Is this part really necessary?" Make sure that each word you write contributes something to the overall story. If it's not developing your character or creating suspense, adding tension or setting the scene, then you probably shouldn't take the time to write it.