Angela Ackerman (a.k.a. The Bookshelf Muse) has finished her collection of posts about her seven deadly sins of novel writing, and they’re good to read for writers at all stages of a manuscript. On Monday, I’ll be beginning what I think — hope — will be my last revision of my current novel, and as I go through the chapters, I’m going to make sure I haven’t made any of these sins.
Here are her sins:
1. Keeping the stakes too low for the characters. Conflict keeps our worlds going round.
2. Characters that don’t measure up. Characters should be unique, yet natural; likeable, yet flawed; active, yet true to character.
3. A weak voice. To quote Angela, “Voice is the song of the story, the heartbeat of the main character. It is nothing short of magic.”
4. Plot holes. Including, illogical steps, saggy middles and coincidences.
5. Bland writing. Use all five senses and choose words wisely.
6. Drowning the dialog. Too much, too little and “said” vs. anything else.
7. Giving away too much. Showing vs. telling and how much to reveal.
Thanks for these, Angela. A great guide.
Can you think of any more deadly sins of novel writing? What sins have you committed lately?