Common Mistakes New Fiction Authors Should Be Careful to Avoid

As an editor, author and screenwriter Mike Robinson sees writing craft and technique mistakes that are commonly made by new or inexperienced fiction writers. First, he sees writers doing too much telling, and not enough showing. There are appropriate times to tell, he says, but you also need to show what your characters are experiencing through their behaviors and all five senses - feeling, seeing, tasting, hearing, and smelling. Robinson recommends writers think more cinematically when trying to show. The second common mistake he sees is overusing passive voice. This means using lots of "was, were, had" types of verbs. Trimming these out of your writing can make sentences more active and urgent.

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