A poorly edited story!
The biggest complaint I see in Amazon reviews is poorly edited books. If you are an author, take your craft seriously. Pay for a proper edit. Don’t waste your time and your reader’s money by not polishing your work to the best it can be. You deserve it and so do your customers.
On the second day of Christmas my newest author gave to me:
Two over used clichés!
“Take your writing to the next level,” “make a paradigm shift,” and “kick your writing up a notch,” by not using tired clichés. Be creative and make your words do more than “fly off the page.”
On the third day of Christmas my newest author gave to me:
Three fancy fonts!
Make your words be the art of your story not the font. Most e-readers can’t recognize more than Times New Roman and Garamond anyway. Don’t waste the time and effort on something so trivial.
On the fourth day of Christmas my newest author gave to me:
Four weasel words!
These are words that just aren’t needed in your writing. The previous sentence could have said: “These words aren’t needed.” Look at all the unnecessary words. Write tight, which means eliminating extra words and redundant phrases. Make every word count.
On the fifth day of Christmas my newest author gave to me:
Five Impossible Names!
How does one actually pronounce: Qoildro, Yddrys, Qadyntonth, Ghumvini, Zaujeq, or MacIll`Eóin? Though you want to be unique, but don’t be obnoxious with your character’s names.
On the sixth day of Christmas my newest author gave to me:
Six super long chapters!
Readers are pressed on all sides for time. They spare a few precious moments of their day to pick up one of your books. Don’t make chapters obnoxiously long. Break chapters up to make them more time-accessible to busy readers.
On the seventh day of Christmas my newest author gave to me:
Seven POV changes! (in one paragraph or on one page)
Pick a character who you are going to use to tell your story. Stay in that characters point of view (POV) for an entire scene, chapter, or the entire book. Don’t head hop. It annoys the reader, and keeps the story at arms length rather than immersing them in it.
On the eighth day of Christmas my newest author gave to me:
Eight recycled plots!
Girl must survive ruthless natives to save her tribe. Girl must survive street gang to save her neighborhood. Girl must survive alien invasion to save her world. Girl must survive game to save her district. Put a new twist that is uniquely you in every story you write. Don’t repackage the same plot in a different ribbon with each new publication.
On the ninth day of Christmas my newest author gave to me:
Nine boring covers!
Here is another place where you need a professional with an eye for design. Spend the money here and on editing. Don’t let your cover look like it was done in ten minutes by your six-year-old. You wouldn’t take the love of your life to a ball in a homeless man’s two-year-old rags. Don’t do that to your written loves either.
On the tenth day of Christmas my newest author gave to me:
Ten tiny chapters!
While one huge chapter can be cumbersome for most readers, a myriad of tiny chapters that draw out a scene is equally annoying. Use time or POV breaks to tie two tiny chapters together into a reasonably lengther chapter.
On the eleventh day of Christmas my newest author gave to me:
Eleven continuing edits!
You give your manuscript to your critique group and they tell you one thing. You show it to and editor at a conference and they suggest you another. A mentor advises you something new, and a publisher recommends yet another way to rewrite your story. At some point you have to stop rewriting and find a way to present your story to the world. It might be through indie publishing, it may take finding the right editor or agent. But you will never please everyone and you can’t rewrite indefinitely.
On the twelfth day of Christmas my newest author gave to me:
Twelve variations of said!
Experts agree that said becomes invisible as a tag for your dialog. Don’t annoy your readers with your characters: groaning, bellowing, snarking, acknowledging, affirming, sneering, or shrieking their dialog. Use attributes or beats to give your reader a fuller picture without the thesaurus of words other than said.
May all your plots be hole-free, your sentences tight and your plots inspire. God bless you writers and Merry Christmas, and to all a late night of “just one more chapter.”