11 Newbie Writer Mistakes to Avoid You Should Know About
Becoming a writer is not an easy task. It requires a lot of innovative thinking and putting those thoughts into meaningful words. And if you are a beginner, it becomes even more challenging since people will be reading your work and there will be critics judging it. Therefore, you have to ensure that whatever you write should be to the point and everything goes in sync with your content. But at times, beginners tend to make some macro mistakes which, on getting noticed by the readers, bring the writer into the dark light. In this article, we will be exploring the newbie writer mistakes to avoid and make your work interesting and worth reading.
Common Mistakes Writer Make
As a new writer, you are bound to make some mistakes. There will never be any perfect piece of writing. And that is very normal. But here are some common newbie writer mistakes to avoid and some writing tips and tricks for beginners to use while writing:
1. A Feeble Introduction:
A commonly said proverb, “the first impression is the last impression” is very well applied while you are writing as well. It is often observed that writers start with writing long descriptive and boring introductions of the setting or event that takes place in the novel/story. This creates a vague story plot and the reader is not able to understand anything about the character or storyline.
And this is one of the most common newbie writer mistakes to avoid. Your work becomes worth reading only when they can get what you are trying to convey through your story. And therefore, you must hook the readers from the very first line of the plot.
Here Are a Few Steps You Can Follow to Write a Great Introduction:
- Begin the story with a life-altering experience
- Create some suspense about the characters
- An inciting incident can become the setting of the story
- Begin with something gloomy right away
- Engage the readers with a strong voice
- Start with a puzzled up moment
- Make it pleasant and relatable
2. Boring Backstory:
Going back in history a bit is fine, be it a thriller, romance, or any other genre. Whereas describing too much about the backstory at the beginning itself obstructs the story and the reader loses interest in reading. This is also one of the common newbie writer mistakes to avoid. Therefore, to get over it, it is best to give the readers some time to read the story and let themselves unfold the hidden parts as they move ahead while reading.
3. Lack of Research on Genre:
One of the other newbie writer mistakes to avoid is that any genre that you are writing for, has its own set of guidelines about the word count, character ages, and everything else that follows. And many times, writers end up writing something that is too long or too short or anything that is not suitable for the category.
Even if you are writing for more than one genre, most of the writing will fall under one genre. And in case, you are willing to go against the odds and wish to write away from the genres, then there will be risks but as long as you are confident about your writing, you will have the option to self-publish your content despite taking the conventional way i.e. publishing a hard copy of the book and selling in bookstores.
Another factor that is important for genre categorization is that it eases the work of the publishers to advertise the book in the particular genre and lets the bookstore know where to place the book.
4. A Not-So-Impressive Plot:
The plot of the story is the key writing element without which there will be no storyline, and without a storyline, what would the readers read? A series or event is often mistaken to be a plot by the writers which is not true. It is important to know that a plot has a beginning, middle, and end. There are certain elements in a plot. As a beginner, these are some of the most important newbie writer mistakes to avoid and should be taken care of while writing.
5. Deciding Characters While Writing The Book:
Beginner writers often make this blunder of creating characters as they move on with the story. They don’t pre-decide the characters because of this they end up making too many of them. It is important to understand that characters are the main pillars of the story which will keep the readers engaged. Adding too many characters to the story will make it challenging for the writer to end the story. This is also one of the newbie writer mistakes to avoid.
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6. Over-Explanation of a Scene:
Though it is important to describe the scenes properly to make things clear for the reader, over-explaining anything isn’t good as well. This will ultimately make the content boring and readers will start losing interest. Therefore, it is best to not drag the scenes and keep them clear and crisp.
7. Reader’s Point of View:
For any writer, the readers are the ultimate judges of their work since they are the ones who will validate their story. And thereby, writers while writing must consider the reader’s perspective closely. They should surely write down their plot and the way they want it to be put down in words but at the same time, it is essential to be kept into account how the readers would like to read what they are willing to convey. Often, writers write according to their viewpoint alone which doesn’t impress the readers and this is one of the very common newbie writer mistakes to avoid.
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8. Poor Presentation:
A commonly said proverb, excess of everything is harmful. Similarly, when writers take too long intervals between writing, they start to lose the flow of writing and aren’t able to think innovatively about the particular theme they are writing about. Therefore, making sure to take smaller breaks for a good presentation is what gets the attention of the readers.
It is very essential that the content is well-presented and aligns with the theme of the book/content that you are writing. A non-matchable font and colors of the words make the work look gloomy. And this is what happens with the newbie writers. They often select fonts and aesthetics according to their preference and not what the content demands of them. Therefore, be sure to look after your presentation skills. These are the most common newbie writer mistakes to avoid.
9. Taking Long Intervals:
Writing a book or any content is not an easy task. It takes up a lot of your energy and it is not possible to write it all in one stretch. It is normal for any human being to take a break from writing to relax their brain and then start afresh to produce better thoughts and meaningful words. But make sure to take a shorter break to keep the rhythm and interest of writing intact.
10. Editing While Writing:
Editing is the most important aspect after you are finished with your writing. And before that, beginner writers need to know that they can write more with fewer words. This means that by using a lesser word count, you can offer a similar amount of content and explanation to your readers.
For instance, if a 12-word sentence can be cut down to 9 words, that won’t mean you are writing less content. It would simply mean that you are just removing the extras. Now, often, professional writers, after gaining a good amount of experience, tend to edit their writing themselves instead of hiring an agency to do so.
And above all, they try to edit and write simultaneously which is the biggest mistake they make. Beginner writers commit the same mistake as well. The best practice is to hire a professional agency for this task of editing and proofreading your content. This is another one of the major newbie writer mistakes to avoid.
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11. Unclear Ending:
The conclusion of the story is as important as the introduction of the story. Just as you keep the readers hooked throughout the story, make sure you conclude the story well as well. At times, beginner writers make the mistake of not ending the story properly and leaving the readers unsatisfied.
There are many novels and blog posts that you must’ve come across where the writer has put all the energy into the main body of the book/blog and left no space for the conclusion. But always keep in mind that conclusions are a way to further engage with your audience and give them a way to emphasize the learnings or questions that you’ve raised while you concluded your work.
The best way to help beginner writers who are confused to conclude their piece of writing is by asking “so what” questions to your readers and asking them to find answers from their lives and what the takeaways from the content are something that can be included in the concluding statement.
Here, we read some of the major newbie writer mistakes to avoid and how beginner writers can work on those while they are working on any piece of writing. Apart from these major writing mistakes, there are also some minor newbie writer mistakes to avoid such as punctuations, choice of words, where to add the commas and semicolons, and a lot more.
Also Read: Types of Writing Styles and Techniques
These Are Some of the Minutest Details That Copywriters Point Out in Your Piece of Writing and This Makes Your Work Look More Presentable. So, Let Us Take a Look at These:
1. The Homophones:
Homophones are words that sound somewhat similar but their spelling and meaning differ from each other. Some common examples of these are: “they’re”, “their” and “there”. Another pair is “affect” and “effect”. However, each of them carries a different meaning but they sound the same and hence are at times used in the place of each other.
The best way to remember these is to use a memory aid that helps you use them in the right place. For instance, to remember the word affect/effect, keep in mind that “affect” starts with “a” which is the first letter for action, and “effect” starts with “e” which is the first letter for the end, (which means when something happens at the end of action).
2. Apostrophes & Catastrophes:
Some homophones can become a cause of confusion for apostrophes such as “your” turns into “you’re” and “its” compared to “it’s”. All of these have different meanings but are somewhat confused while you are using them in sentences. So, a tip to use these is that, when you contract an apostrophe, where you combine the verb and the noun, make sure to broaden the term in your mind such as “here’s” becomes “here is”, “it’s” becomes “it is”.
This way you get the right word. But, there are exceptions as well. When you expand the term in this sentence “here’s the best restaurants”, it cannot be “here is the best restaurants”. Instead, it is “here are the best restaurants”. Not to worry, with time you get a knack for it.
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3. Commas and Semicolons:
These are two of the most underrated yet most important parts of any writing that can either make or break your writing. So, to use semicolons, here’s the tip: ensure that both the parts before and after the semicolon are two complete thoughts. Else, it can ruin the whole meaning of the sentence.
For example, I love commas; but I am always confused when it comes to semicolons. That being said, let’s come to the commas. Here, one rule to follow is the oxford comma; which says that it is a comma that can be added before the last word in the list. For example, A, B, and C. Once you start following the rule, you will be more clear with the commas.
4. Using Repetitive Words:
One of the most common newbie writer mistakes to avoid is using repetitive words. Whereas in some cases, words are repeated and we really can’t help it, but other times, we can stop resisting using the same words again and again since this will convey a bad message to the readers that you are unable to express your thoughts and are lacking words to define your emotions and are not able to properly explain the content or topic that are talking about. So, while you are writing, try using a variety of words and express as much as you can.
Q.1. What are some writing tips that a beginner writer can follow?
Taking up writing as a profession is not an easy task. And too if you are a beginner in writing, then you need to pull up your socks and work day in and day out to get the right content out for your audience. And this requires a lot of practice and research work. So, here are some tips that you can follow daily to improve your writing and thinking skills:
- There is no alternative to reading: Read as much as you can and expose yourself to different types and styles of writing. Read books on your favorite genre too. All this will help you innovate and produce good content for your readers.
- Follow a routine: Make a routine wherein you dedicate some of your time of the day to writing and practice the routine daily. This will improve your writing skills and speed of writing too.
- Writing exercises: There are certain writing exercises that you can practice daily to develop your writing style and work on your weaknesses.
- Journaling: Maintaining a journal and using it daily will be useful to help you innovate ideas and stories from your everyday life. No matter whatever niche or genre of writing you choose, journaling will always help you generate good thoughts.
- Writing groups: Joining writing groups on various social channels is a good way to know more about literature and socialize with people of similar interests.
Q.2. Are there any courses for newbie writers?
Absolutely! There are various online courses available for beginner writers and these courses will also help you with the newbie writing mistakes to avoid. Here’s a list of some available courses:
- Content writing masters course: IIM Skills
- Good with words: writing and editing: University of Michigan (Coursera)
- Write your first novel: Michigan State University (Coursera)
- The secret sauce of great writing: Udemy
- Creative writing 101: Writer’s Digest University
- Various writing courses from Masterclass
- Writing classes on edX
Q.3. What is the process of writing?
To begin the process of writing, some major steps have to be followed. These are:
- Prewriting: It is the stage where your thoughts and ideas are put down into words. This helps you gain direction for writing.
- Outlining your ideas into a framework: Giving your thoughts a proper structure is what helps you gather more information on the topic and this way you will be able to write more and also in an organized manner.
- Drafting: Now after you are done with thinking and organizing your ideas, it is time to put them on a piece of paper using good and meaningful words in a proper format.
- Revising and editing: This is the most important step since after writing a draft, there will still be a lot of scope for improvement. And this will be done when you will go through the draft reading each word again, looking for grammar mistakes, punctuations, colons, and commas in place, and editing all of it. This will add more perfection to your writing piece.
These are the important fundamentals of writing that should always be followed no matter what piece you are writing and whether you are a professional or a beginner writer. This is also helpful for the newbie writer mistakes to avoid and take care of while writing.
Q.4. Suggest any writing topics for beginners.
As a beginner, you can choose to write your niche and write about that. Apart from that, you can choose topics from your daily life experiences and write that into a story or maybe a blog post. Once you start writing, you will never be short of topics. There will always be content that you can write on. But one thing to note here is that, if you are willing to become a freelance writer, then you must choose to write more about “writing” and what it is all about. The forms, styles, and elements of writing and how it is important to answer all these questions. This will help you gain a client base and help your clients know about your knowledge of writing and they will be able to invest in you and trust you with their company profile. So, before you start writing, make up your mind about how you would want to get ahead in your writing career and then start writing.
In the article, we came across some of the major and micro newbie writer mistakes to avoid. We also discovered some tips and tricks that a newbie writer can follow to reap better writing results. After reading the article, you must’ve got to know that all these are some basic mistakes that tend to happen due to a lack of knowledge. And once you are aware of them, you can correct them and imbibe them in your writing to avoid further mistakes. Writers generally burden themselves with the anticipation of publishing a good writing piece. However, that should not be the case. Writing can be an art for some but it is also a skill for others who develop it through proper practice and doing all that it takes to be as good as they can be. Writing brings new learning every day. While you read about various topics, as a beginner, try to also read about “writing” as a topic and the dos and don’ts of it. This will help you gain a deeper insight into the art of writing. So, to conclude here, always ensure to embrace your mistakes, learn from them and write your heart out. That is what writing is all about.