Writing is the way of practice. One can get a professional education in the field, read lots of learning literature and useful articles and so on. But theory does not always help once it all comes to the writing process itself. It is difficult to get through the jungle forest of information and to use theoretical knowledges while writing, especially if there is no experience behind one’s back.
And here come mistakes. While being unconscious sometimes, they kick the writer off the way and stun the process. That is why it is important to identify these mistakes. This is exactly the theory which can be easily combined with practice and to help the one working on the story.
So, let’s look at the writers’ mistakes more closely.
Mistake One: “Idea matters!”, or No Preliminary Work
There are few heroes, there are few adventures and a vague, blurred picture of the world. There is the interest and inspiration. But this is not enough.
The absence of a thought-out plot, working on characters and conflicts “on the go” lead to your text being empty and full of “water”: unnecessary events which do not have any influence on the story. Action and romantics will not be able to save your “watered” book without plot changes.
Sure, it is difficult to think out everything in advance. But you can do that partly: build-up the past stories of your heroes, generate three to four bright plot-turning events, disclose the conflict and find its “spice”. It is required to go into a long romance just like one goes to a long trip: have your substantial “backpack” and a map, do not think you’ll be able to find all the facts while following the rout.
Mistake Two: “The Story is Set Up in France, Though I Never Visited It…” or Mistake of Ignorance
Lots of authors get infected with a book or a film, and start writing about things they don’t know at all. About space and spaceships, about brave warriors and glorious battles, about big and pure love. Still, first ones know nothing about space physics and are zeroes in techniques; second ones have never held a sword in their hands, saw sieges and assaults only in Hollywood movies; and third ones didn’t have any love even once. But writing a good text without knowing its subject is simply impossible. Authenticity matters, otherwise your reader will never believe a story.
That is why it is required to write your first book or two basing on a personal experience. Even if the experience is limited by video games: isn’t it a good start for a literature RPG story? Yet if you start writing on Medieval, you need to study “materiel” in order to replicate peoples’ living and beliefs. Yes, you better hold a sword and ride a horse before writing as well.
Mistake Three: “Hello, My Diary!...” or The Wish to Describe Beloved Oneself and to Teach Someone How to Live
This is a fact: in the matter of story, author’s personality does not interest anyone. Though, newbie writers often show up their “self” through the cool and undefeatable (or super-sexy and irresistible) character. These ideal, “plastic” heroes do not interest anyone as well, because of not being live personalities. Same goes for thoughts and lectures.
Readers need interesting and exciting stories. They want live characters with their own advantages and disadvantages, not the list of author’s worries and aspirations. Books are to be written for readers, not for crying there or showing how cool the author is.
Mistake Four: “I LOVE MIDDLE-EARTH!” or Unstoppable Imitation
Stealing is a bad thing, you know? Of course, everyone works with cliches and gets characters everywhere: from mythology, legends, existing books. But if the borrowing or imitation is too obvious, this shows the author’s own imagination is poor.
If you take any famous character or a plot turn, you should add something from your own mind to them. Do not simply use, but think how to use. Plus, if you imitate somebody, do that is your first book or two while working an experience. Still, think out as much of your own as you can and use it, even if you write your very first book.