Top Fiction Writing Mistakes Writers Make

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Top Fiction Writing Mistakes Writers Make

As an aspiring professional fiction writer or novel writer, you will commit some mistakes in your manuscript. In fact, a lot of mistakes. And that’s completely fine until you are determined enough to address them and learn from them.

Writing mistakes, undoubtedly, can cause severe damage to the quality, sales, and reviews of the book or novel. So, better to learn from common pitfalls new writers face and try to avoid them. Either learn from them and enhance your craft, or you can hire professional book writing services to get your dream fiction book written error-free.

1. Lack of Conflict

People read fiction to get entertained. And if there is no conflict, obstacles, or problems, no one would be interested to know what is happening with the characters. It will be a straight boring daily routine story that will not make the readers eager and entice them to know what’s more.

Without obstacles and risks, you can’t make the story move forward to reach some sort of conclusion or solve anything. Plus, it will lack character development and emotional attachment since there is nothing to struggle for.

2. Use of Clichés

The second reason people read fiction is to get surprised. Clichéd dialogues, scenes, plots, and character arcs will make your novel predictable, and readers will get bored. Plus, the overuse of clichés depicts that writer is so much lazy. And he does not put enough thought into creating something new from scratch. It hurts the book’s reviews, credibility, and standing in the market.

3. Unrealistic Dialogues and Characters

However, people read fiction to escape reality. Still, they want to read believable characters and dialogues. Characters that are one-dimensional, flawless, and too perfect to commit any mistake seem artificial, unauthentic, and distant.

When characters act in a manner that is illogical or inconsistent with their personality, it disorients the reader and leaves them wondering.

4. Boring Opening

You just have the first few words or lines to capture the attention of the readers. Otherwise, they have a lot of other options to hop to. If your novel’s opening doesn’t spark them, seems uninteresting, clichéd, static, or unenticing, they will not read further. Or, even if they read further, they will still feel disconnected emotionally.

5. Giving a Lot of Backstories

Readers do not want to know little detail about the characters if they are unimportant to the plot. It becomes overwhelming when you bombard readers with background information such as character names, dates, and family trees.

In the story’s beginning, the purpose is to entice the readers and make them hooked on what is happening. For that, you would need a striking opening scene, and it doesn’t require extensive background information most of the time.

6. Writing Real Scenes as They Were

There is a reason fiction is called fiction. If you write everything you have experienced in life, it would not be a novel. It will be an autobiography or a memoir. So, ensure you do not copy real-life events with some alterations to your story.

However, you can take inspiration and insights from real-life and slip them into the story in a subtle way. But, remember to make up the scenes, characters, and setting very well to avoid looking it real.

7. Info-Dumping

Sometimes fiction writers just want to make the readers aware of all the character details and setting details. For that, they throw all the information in the first few pages of the story in dense text. It has severe detrimental effects on the book. It overwhelms the reader and makes them feel burdened to remember all the intricate data of every character, setting, or plot.

Condensing all the important information into one or two paragraphs may appear efficient. However, from the readers’ perspective, it feels like too much work to remember everything – all at once.

Plus, it also negates the evergreen rule of “Show, Don’t Tell.” When you just throw information in the face of the readers, they don’t remember it. Instead, try to make the active scenes out of it to make the readers care about it.

8. Loose Endings

Do you ever feel unsatisfied enough after completing a fiction piece? Or have you ever read a novel with an abrupt ending?

The reason for that is that writer did not put enough thought into providing a satisfying closure to the characters or the plot. However, some writers deliberately choose to leave some loose ends at the end of their story. But if you don’t execute it effectively, it leaves the reader frustrated.

Secondly, readers invest their time, emotions, and effort in reading your book. And when you leave them unsatisfied with the loopholes, there is a higher chance that they don’t come to your book again.

9. Using Heavy Words Too Much

Readers pick novels and fiction books to enjoy and have a relaxing time. And if they have to pick up dictionaries at every other sentence, it will feel like they are reading an academic book.

New writers often commit this mistake. When you learn new adjectives and expressions, you tend to stuff them everywhere – even where they are not needed. It also includes using too many adverbs without caring about their context and meaning.

10. Lack of Editing, Presentation, and Proofreading

You can’t be a good writer if you don’t edit your manuscript tens of times. Any loose ends, grammatical errors, inconsistencies, plot holes, pacing, development, and many other issues are for the editing phase.

Moreover, the presentation is the most overlooked part from the writer’s end. Extra spacing, formatting, inconsistent fonts, and weak headings ruin the overall experience.


It is unavoidable to commit mistakes. The entire point of knowing about general writing mistakes, like lack of clarity, weak plot, artificial dialogues, overuse of clichés, and info-dumping is to learn from them and enhance your craft even more. The story-telling techniques get really fired up once you start practising and improving regularly.

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