Throwback to my “newbie” days…top three writing mistakes.



I’ve never really made writing mistakes, actually. (And if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you!) In truth, I’ve made too many mistakes to count, and we’re talking big ones, not the namby pamby spelling errors and missed commas. As I look back on a 15 year writing career and some 20 novels to date, here are my “big three” writing mistakes.

1. Leaving too many dangling threads. Ah yes. When I started out, I thought there would always be another book, another sequel in which to wrap up all those little niggling issues. Turns out, publishers can nix your line any old time, so you’d better make sure to wrap up all those reader questions. If not…you will get MAIL!

2. Using too many words. Oh I hate to admit this one, but I LOVE words, especially adverbs. I like to sprinkle them in to season the stew so to speak, but words are like salt. Too many and you’ve ruined the thing! Sigh. I have had to pare down my whimsical use of adverbs. The pain!

3. Using minor characters for plot purposes only. You know, the Crewman Donovan type who delivers a message and then falls off a cliff? Those kinds of characters can be one dimensional, and clutter up the story. Much better to have all the characters fully fleshed and interactive, rather than using the poor things to serve a practical purpose without giving them any dimension.

There. I’ve admitted it. I have had to learn many writing lessons (mostly the hard way.) Have you learned any lessons in your career or home life? Things you do differently now that you did as a “newbie?” Giving away a VISA gift card, a signed book and a February surprise. 

7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kayla on February 20, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    As a nurse, I’ve learned teamwork and asking for help isn’t about not being able to do it on your own, its that you don’t have to! Knowing that sooner in my career would have taken off a ton of stress!



  2. Posted by Valri Western on February 20, 2015 at 1:09 am

    Now that my children are all grown and gone, college graduates and working in their own fields, I can say that I wish I was NOW THEIR MOTHER! I would do an awesome job now! It’s great to look back and see how we could do a great job in hindsight! I could see that in my career too when I worked as a legal recruiter for a huge law firm! But, that’s how we all grow into the people we are today! 🙂



  3. Posted by heather on February 19, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    I have learned to watch my run on sentences over the years and to read more as I makes me a better writer.



  4. I’ve learned not to take myself too seriously and to be more modest—admitting that I have limitations and have to work within them. I’ve also learned to be less judgmental. We are all imperfect and we make mistakes. If I know that of myself then I have to remember that it’s true of others too. Also, I do my best to see others the way God sees them. He sees a person’s potential and doesn’t dwell on their flaws. I strive to be that way.



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