6 Mistakes New Writers Make (and How to Fix Them)

Look, I was—and still am, for the most part—a new writer. I’m not trying to say that being green here is a bad thing, because it’s not. It’s a time of huge growth and it can be one of the most exciting parts of being a writer, because everything is so shiny and fascinating. But I made a lot of mistakes as a new writer, some of them good and some of them bad, and I’d like to offer this post as a cheat sheet for everyone in my place.

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Why Remembering Your First Novel Matters

That story, with its unoriginal characters and cliché storyline, was my first ever attempt at a novel. Now, after eight years, three failed attempts at novels, and two successful ones, I can still see a clear path from that story to my newest one.

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4 Dangerous Lies People Tell About Writing

Maybe you’re not “good enough” to become a New York Times bestseller. Maybe you’ll never get published. But writing doesn’t have to be about those things. You can just write for yourself. If you have something you want to write, be it an epic fantasy novel or a short fanfiction, do it. You don’t have to be the next Shakespeare or John Green or [insert idol here]. You don’t have to write for anyone but yourself. If it makes you happy, that’s all you need.

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Story Snippet: December

Matt’s staring at him, lips pulled down and eyes soft like he knows what Braedyn’s thinking, what he’s gonna say. It’s not the first time; it won’t be the last. “Nah,” he says, shaking his head. “Not today.” Then he turns around and walks away.

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Story Snippet: October

She doesn’t remember the ride to the station, or waiting in a stiff chair for them to call for her. She doesn’t even remember being led into the interrogation room. She does remember saying that it was an accident, that it was dark and she was alone and when he snuck up on her, she’d […]

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Plot Outline Template: A Novel Deconstructed

I wrote my first two novels alongside a very detailed plot outline, and that worked for me; I finished the first draft of my second novel within four months. The thing is, I like structure. I like knowing where my story is going. But my new story is different from everything I’ve written before, and in turn, it requires a new approach to plotting.

And that’s where this comes in: a bare-bones mash-up of every plot outline you’ve seen.

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