Novel Writing Mistakes: Stop Ditching the Best Parts of Your Story
Writing a novel takes discipline. And crafting those pitch-perfect scenes can be more painful than eating Aunt Ruth’s day-old soggy waffles. But the fact of the matter is, scenes that are most often the hardest to write are the parts in your story readers want to read the most. The fastest way to irritate your audience is to write everything but the good parts.
As writers, wordsmiths, story aficionados, you’d think we would have this part down. From the action to the romance to the laugh out loud comedy of storytelling, we click away on our keyboards, excited to get our story down for readers anxious little hands.
But as easy as walking and chewing gum, we can omit the best part of our story without realizing it. Why does this happen?
Perhaps what we as writers interpret as the intended plot points isn’t always what our readers are most excited to read. They like the juicy, the dirty, the blood, sweat, and tears our characters go through to achieve their goals.
Finding scenes to be particularly painful to write can entice us to take the easy way out. This could be because of a past emotional experience, or we could lack the expertise to write about the scene (a dose of research is a quick remedy!). Whatever the case may be, encourage yourself to either take the bull by the horns and write through the discomfort, or rewrite the story in a way to avoid the need for it. But don’t ditch. Don’t abandon your readers at a point where you’ve set them up for a tumbleweed of action. A build-up scene is a promise to your readers. Follow through.
If you don’t, your story will go something like this:
Logan grips the wheel, mentally preparing for the big race ahead. It has come down to him and 42 other drivers. He has prepared for this day his whole life. Next to him, Number 24 revs his engine, loud and intimidating. Before he knows it, the race is over, and his team is hoisting him high in the air, gold trophy in hand. He won!
This build-up is a good example of a big letdown. Logan is ecstatic, but readers won’t be.
If you’ve primed readers for a nail-biting, hair-raising, can’t breathe moment…then deliver. Flush that scene out so it’s felt on all levels, all the feels. Your readers are expecting the payoff.
Ready to grab that wheel and spin some rubber? Now get out there and #CreateYourEpic!