Every writer gets a lot of advice on how to write a novel. Just as there are many things you can do to succeed as a novelist, there are also several things you can do (unintentionally, of course!) that will doom your novel. Here is how not to write a novel:
This could involve waiting for the muse, the inspiration, the right setting, the perfect mood, the spark, the fire, or whatever else you are waiting for, instead of actually writing. Writing without inspiration is just wrong. An hour of inspired writing is worth a month of hard work writing at your desk…..or so you heard somewhere.
2. Write without structure
The muse finally came, so you just wrote and wrote. About anything and everything. So what if it doesn’t follow any structure, or have a plot, or even a clear storyline? If you say it’s a novel, readers will have to accept it any way it is written and read your ‘novel’.
3. Write on the most popular topic going around now
So, all your friends are reading vampire romance novels. Well, why not write one yourself? It’s sure to appeal to readers and it can’t be that hard to write since so many others did. And of course, by the time you actually publish it next year, people would still find that topic interesting.
4. Turn your diary or life story into a fiction novel
You already put in the hard work writing all those diaries and journals through your (traumatized or interesting or angst-filled or ….) teenage years. Surely, it would make interesting reading for anyone- just change the names and the places, and throw in some dialogue, and voila- you have a novel!
5. Write to please someone
You want to make your family proud with your first novel, so you use all their inputs in your novel. Your dad loves action heroes, so you write about a gritty cop. But wait, your mom hates violence and bad language. Okay, so a peace loving and polite, yet gritty cop can’t be that uncommon, right? Your teenage niece wants to see a happy ending for him. So, in the midst of escaping from a dangerous smuggling gang, he still manages to romance the bad guy’s sister, and walk away with her into the twilight, unharmed, and without killing any of the bad guys either. Well, at least you know your family will read the novel, even if no one else does.
6. Write without passion
Your cousin just published his first novel, made a load of money from it, and kept bragging about it during the last family gathering. Well, if he can write a novel, surely you can too. After all, you have more fancy degrees than he does. So what if you never even wrote a decent article in your life, or your English teacher balked at the sight of your essays? Writing a novel is just writing a story, after all. You decide to sit down and produce a novel within this weekend, and show everyone just how it’s done.
(Important note: this advice is not to be followed by anyone who wants their novel to succeed! If you want to know how to write a great novel that readers will love, check out ‘5 Novel Writing Tips’ instead).
Image credit: sboneham on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/CS_Rajan.jpg [/author_image] [author_info]CS Rajan is a freelance writer who loves to write on various topics, and is currently working on her first novel. [/author_info] [/author]