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Top 5 Mistakes series

Top 5 Mistakes Mystery Writers Make

Whodunnit? Whether you’re writing a murder mystery or an action packed thrilller, mystery writers are masters of suspense. However, if you’re writing a murder mystery, these five mistakes could bring the investigation to a halt. Make sure you avoid these top mistakes when writing a mystery novel. 1) Deus Ex Machinas Deus Ex Machina (Latin: “god from the machine”) describes any sort of plot where the conflict is resolved from out-of-control events. The phrase “god from the machine” is a reference to ancient stage crafting: in many Roman plays, the plot is resolved by intervention from the gods, and a… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Mystery Writers Make

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Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make Writing Relationships

All about Relationships Relationships are the best, aren’t they? Not always – fortunately – otherwise they’d be dull to write about. Creating modern relationships for modern audiences does require staying fresh and relevant, however. Here’s what to avoid to make sure your fictional relationships don’t crash and burn (unless you want them to…). 1) Love is only for the Young  Falling in love can happen to anyone, at any time. We’ve seen the ‘two star-crossed lovers’ storyline play out for eons, so if you want a fresher way to approach this trope, you might have to look a little higher up the… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make Writing Relationships

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Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make Plotting Their Novels

The Plot Thickens It’s difficult to know when you’re making mistakes during the writing process, especially when you’re plotting. Whether it’s a plot hole, a lack of diverse characters, one-dimensional characters, or anything else that holds your book back, plotting errors are an important fix. Plotting Mistake #1: One-Dimensional Characters During my research, this was a complaint I saw a lot, in different variations … “The characters were one-dimensional and boring.”  A character needs to have an internal conflict in order to change over the course of a novel. This is like a cut or a wound they have because… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make Plotting Their Novels

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Top 5 Storyworld Mistakes Writers Make

What Is Storyworld? If you type the word ‘storyworld’ into Google, the results are not great. But it’s a word I like to use with writers, because the notion can prove very illuminating in discussing how stories hang together. So, let’s agree the definition of ‘storyworld’ as … ‘The space in which the story operates, which impacts directly on how it is told.’ With this in mind, let’s consider the top mistakes writers make with their storyworlds and how to approach it instead. Ready? Let’s go … 1) Thinking storyworld is only a sci fi / fantasy thing Lots of writers believe… Read More »Top 5 Storyworld Mistakes Writers Make

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Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Lawyer Characters

Lawyer Up! Lawyer characters have long been popular in novels, on TV drama and in movies. As the author of Convictions, the first in a new legal suspense series featuring legal eagle Natalie Bach, I’m all for sexing up the legal profession. But if I’m brutally honest, too many lawyer characters out there are samey or even stereotypical. Here’s my take on a few mistakes writers make about lawyer characters. Ready? Let’s go … 1) The lawyer is dodgy In real life, lawyers have to be of the highest integrity and will be disciplined or struck off if they step… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Lawyer Characters

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Top 5 Edits Mistakes Writers Make

All About Edits Do you love edits, or loathe them? Since I am a script editor, luckily I love them! That said, I recognise it can be a daunting process for many writers. Often this is because they just don’t know where to start, or whether they’re doing it ‘right’. I have worked with LOADS of writers now, both screenwriters and novelists. Here’s the top 5 mistakes I see writers make on edits all the time, plus what to do about them. Let’s go … 1) Starting Micro (Instead Of Macro) Too many writers sweat the small stuff on their… Read More »Top 5 Edits Mistakes Writers Make

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Top 5 Formatting Mistakes Writers Make

Formatting Errors If you’ve written a great screenplay, you don’t want to ruin its chances of success by getting something simple like the formatting wrong. By formatting it properly, you’re making sure the reader won’t be distracted or disengaged. Screenplay software makes the job much easier, but there’s still a few major formatting things you have to look out for on your own. Here are the top formatting mistakes to avoid at all costs. 1) Too Much ‘Black On The Page’ … Or Too Little! It’s normal that people would rather read text that has plenty of ‘white space’. It’s… Read More »Top 5 Formatting Mistakes Writers Make

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Top 5 Subplot Mistakes Writers Make

All About Subplots Subplots are key to making a killer script. But misusing them can also be its downfall. So, what is a subplot? A subplot is a secondary storyline which runs parallel to the main story. They are the secret to making a truly compelling screenplay and can be the lifeblood of your act two. Great subplots allow you to bring meat to your script, flush out your storyline, and reveal new aspects of your central and supporting character’s personality. All too often subplots are under-utilised or go way off the rails. Let’s look at a few hazards to… Read More »Top 5 Subplot Mistakes Writers Make

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Top 5 Science Fiction Mistakes Writers Make

Today’s post is from William R. Leibowitz, author of the bestselling science fiction series, Miracle Man. Whether you’re writing a novel or screenplay, there’s some great tips here on what NOT to do with your science fiction story. Enjoy! On Writing Science Fiction So, you want to try your hand at writing science fiction? Readers of science fiction are generally sophisticated. They tend to have real standards which they’ve developed by reading the great writers who developed the genre. They’ve also watched countless good quality science fiction movies and television programmes. Here are some of the things that I think most… Read More »Top 5 Science Fiction Mistakes Writers Make

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Top 5 Networking Mistakes Writers Make

Networking Mistakes You’ve been counting down for months, excited about the upcoming event you’re going to.  The plan is to network with agents, publishers and fellow writers.  In your head you’re fabulous at networking … Or are you?? In order to survive a networking event without disastrous consequences avoid making the following mistakes as though your life depends on it.  First impressions last a lifetime! Here’s what NOT to do when networking, plus what you should do instead. 1) You Ignore Others You’ve arrived. You’re milling through the crowds of people and spot someone your desperate to talk to.   However,… Read More »Top 5 Networking Mistakes Writers Make

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