Writing Mistakes To Avoid

1. Don't get caught starting your story before the interesting part. In the beginning start with something intriguing or exciting. You want your readers want to be engaged right at the beginning. Stories about happy people in happy land don't engage your readers. Most readers do not want to be told about attractive people doing nice, fun things, hoping that you will care about them when they finally run up against some problems. Remember most readers would actually prefer to be engaged with a plot that brings threat, challenge and trouble or change from the beginning..

2. Remember, trouble is your business, make more of it. Forgetting to include the plot. Crazy as this seems it happens all the time. A young girl pines after the high school quarterback, dad sits in his recliner with a beer in hand wishing for a better life, the kid next door sits at his computer all day playing games instead of doing homework. All of these could potentially be great stories but they need to be energized. They need a plot. Something has to happen.
The kid that sits at his computer all day is named Joey. Joey gets a call on his cell phone from another boy named Franklin (Frankie for short). The boys get together and decide to go to the mall, but Joey isn't allowed out of the house until his mom and dad get home. Grandma is downstairs and she rules the house with an iron fist and he needs to figure out a way to get out of the house. When he meets Joey they have no way to get to the mall. The story could be tragic, a comedy or somewhere in between. But something is going to have to happen. Drama happens in everyday life. Make sure to ask your character that they want, and then be sure to make them work for it.

3. Fear. The most memorable novels have the fear of death hanging every scene. This could be the fear of physical death which is usually the main ingredient of a thriller but there is also professional death. Your main character might be involved in a vocation or a situation where their professional death is a possibility. Something that may well end their career. If it's a vocational death looming over someone's head you need to make sure the problem that is hanging over your character's head is so important that failing to beat it will mean a permanent setback to his/her life.
Third there is psychological death. This kind of "death" is dying on the inside. No matter what form death takes you must put death out there so that it can be felt throughout your book. It can be as simple as worrying about the future or outright terror. Look for all the places you can put it and make it your characters motivation for all their activities. Keep the stress level up. Sometimes they may rise to the situation and become heroes. Sometimes they just run away. Your character doesn't always have to face physical death, but he needs to deal with pressure.
In order to put your characters under pressure, you must know them well. This is why you need to have already put together complete character profiles. The more you know about him/her the more your can fully make your character come alive. The more ways you can find to make them suffer.

4. Soft/mushy dialogue. First make sure each character has a distinct "voice". In each characters profile include a "character's voice" section. Document your characters voice when "talking" to you to author about a variety of topics. Develop this until each character sounds unique, and then apply that to your manuscript. Next, compress your dialogue as much as possible, cutting out all the fluffy words, whole lines or even compete exchanges. Try copying a lengthy dialogue exchange into a new document. Cut and compress as much as you can, then compare it to the original. Most times you will find you will prefer to shortened version to the original.
Make sure that you include some kind of tension in every exchange. Remember back to fear? At the very least you can show some aspect of it (worry, fear, anxiety, misgiving, panic) going on inside on of your characters. Try out different agenda's for each character in a scene using dialogue as a way of getting what they want.

5. Predictability. Readers like to feel an uncertainty about their characters which are in crisis, whether it is emotional or physical. Readers are disappointed when they already know the outcome of a scene. Your novel no longer conveys a fantasy but a tedious ride down familiar streets. Put something unexpected in every scene. How to you do this? Start by making a list. Ask yourself what might happen next and make a list of possibilities. Consider the three primary areas: description, action and dialogue. Force yourself to come up with five different possibilities, then choose the one that may give your readers the tension you we're looking for.

6. Description: Get rid of generic details and come up with ones that are unique to your character. How might you see the street you live on? Are there neighbors about? Are the flowers in bloom in the flowerbed next to the street? Where is the sun and how is it affecting the scene?
Action: Close your eyes and watch the scene unfold. Let your characters improvise. See what outlandish things might result. If something looks interesting, find a way to justify it. Dialogue: Don't always use expected exchanges. How might your characters say things that put other characters (and therefore, readers) off balance? Use this list in your planning stages, just before writing a scene or when you revise. Whatever way you choose put in unexpected elements that will elevate the quality of your story.
While writing your story if you seem to have lost your way or your love for the original story try going deeper in to your characters. Start with a back story. If you have already done an extensive bio for your main character try starting a new one. Keep the best of the old material but put in a lot of new.
Focus on your character at different ages during their life. Create an account of what happened to them at a crucial stage in their life. What incidents shaped their life, romances, tragedies, or heartaches? Focus on that your characters long for. These are the things that we need, feel we lack so much that there is a hole in our soul. Write those scenes in detail. Do this for all your main and secondary characters.

Also do this for your antagonist and secondary characters also and you will soon be excited to get back to your story. Readers are also hungry for a connection with stories they can get moved by and lost in. Fix these areas of your work and you can be among those other best selling authors.