1) Failure to have it professionally edited: Agents and publishers aren’t going to waste their time with a manuscript that has misspelled words, or improper spacing, run-on sentences etc. Want to be taken seriously? Then have the manuscript PROFESSIONALLY edited before submitting.
2) Speechifying: Lack of contractions, soapbox oratory, bombastic self-serving dialogue.
3) Talking heads: Conversational dialogue where there is no action. People gesture when they speak, have facial expressions, respond to outside noises (dog barking, train whistle) touch surrounding objects etc.
4) Telling not showing: Don’t just write it was a dark and stormy night, describe it. Make us feel that we are in that place.
5) Stagnant pacing: Suspense requires scene building detail, concise description utilizing all five senses. (What they see, hear, feel, smell and taste.) Action require sharp, to the point pacing with no unnecessary detail.
6) Timeline errors: You can’t have Bob go out to get Tuesday’s newspaper then announce when he comes home that he wants to watch Monday Night football that evening. Or switching between past, present and future without a clear and self-explanatory jump-cut.
7) Inconsistent dialogue: Once you establish your character he/she must be consistent in his or hers conduct and speech patterns. You can’t have a British nobleman suddenly start wise cracking or using southern colloquialisms.
8) Exposition: You shouldn’t stop your story to explain to your reader what led up to their present circumstances, weave it into the story.
9) Magic solution: You should NEVER use a solution to a problem that hasn’t been mentioned anywhere else in the story. For example: Jane is about to be murdered by crazed assailant then suddenly remembers she has a gun in her purse. If this fact hasn’t been address earlier you shouldn’t use it. EVER!
10) There is no “Secret” The secret is what keeps the reader reading. Who is the mysterious stranger who calls Jane every night at 2 am.? Who is that boy in the picture she keeps in a locket around her neck? What is Ben using to blackmail Kyle? Remember it’s very easy to put a book down. Make it difficult for your reader to do.
There is a lot more to mention. In fact there is an entire book filled with everything you need to know to get your book published. It’s called The Best Book on How to Write, Publish and Market your Novel into a Best Seller and you can get it if you CLICK HERE
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