Have your trusted friends or beta readers told you your WIP novel is too long, confusing, or just doesn’t grab them? Here are some typical “big-picture” weaknesses to watch out for in your fiction and correct before sending it to an editor, publishing it, or pitching it to an agent.
These types of glaring gaffes in writing, pacing, plot, or structure will bog down your story and invite bad reviews, which could sink your reputation as a novelist. Fortunately, they can all be remedied at the revision and self-editing stages.
~ Overwriting. Not enough self-editing will give people a reason to reject your novel
Today’s bestselling novels are mostly between 70,000 and 90,000 words long. Unless you’re an absolutely brilliant writer, and experts in the business have told you so, if your manuscript is over 95,000 words long, it definitely needs tightening up.
Cut way back on explanations and descriptions, and trim down long, convoluted sentences to their essence. Make every word count.
~ Meandering writing – the main story question / problem is fuzzy or buried.
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Jodie Renner is a freelance fiction editor and the award-winning author of three craft-of-writing guides in her series An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction: FIRE UP YOUR FICTION, CAPTIVATE YOUR READERS, and WRITING A KILLER THRILLER, as well as two clickable time-saving e-resources, QUICK CLICKS: Spelling List and QUICK CLICKS: Word Usage. She has also organized two anthologies for charity: VOICES FROM THE VALLEYS – Stories and Poems about Life in BC’s Interior, and CHILDHOOD REGAINED – Stories of Hope for Asian Child Workers. You can find Jodie on her Amazon Author Page, at www.JodieRenner.com, and on Facebook.