This is what I’m working on right now with my first mystery book, so I’m making an effort to cover all my bases by reading a lot of good hints about “do’s” and “don’ts. I came across a good blog by an author living in the
, Mike Wells. Reading this interesting post may help you
avoid the pitfalls you can plunge into while revising your book. England
This post is specifically about why books are rejected by agents and set aside by readers, but I think it’s also useful if you’re self publishing your work. The same thing would still apply because, of course, we don’t want our book set aside by readers.
A brief summary:
Story starts too slowly.
Story is not as advertised.
Too many characters introduced too quickly.
No clear-cut point of view.
Story has no distinct main character.
Too much bio/back-story info is presented.
Flashbacks used too often and/or too early.
Opening scenes lack enough tension to pull the reader along.
One or more scenes do not advance the plot.
Reader cannot emotionally connect with the main character.
Too many seemingly unrelated plot threads.
Narrative is description-heavy.
Description is loaded with “purple prose,” particularly the opening paragraphs.
Dialogue is not interactive enough.
Story starts too quickly.
All of these are such good points to think about and sometimes I wonder why I can pick up traditionally published books and experience one or more things on this list. I’ve been looking at my WIP to see how many of these things I’m guilty of doing. Mr. Wells goes into this a lot more in his well-written post that you can find here: