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I was in the process of writing a blog post about edits and things and got on the subject of one of my biggest writing mistakes.
Go ahead and laugh, but when I wrote my first novel, I failed to write in chapters.
That one mistake has haunted me for months and it is something that I am still working on fixing.
Since I wrote the story over a year ago and have learned more about writing, it seems like such a noob thing to do, but I did it. lol.

Do any of you have anything that you did when you first started writing that you can look back on and laugh?  ;D
 

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My major two are passive sentences and qualifiers.

Thrakun was fairly sure he'd probably been swindled.

Took a long time to stomp those out of my first novel.
 

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Head-hopping. Meaning changing pov from person to person without separating by section or chapter.

Funny enough, I'm reading a trad book right now published by Penguin. The author changes pov back and forth between paragraphs! Seems to work fine in the book (not confusing to me and I'm enjoying the story) but I sure get my hands slapped if an editor catches me at it.

:-[
 

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KayBratt said:
Head-hopping. Meaning changing pov from person to person without separating by section or chapter.

Funny enough, I'm reading a trad book right now published by Penguin. The author changes pov back and forth between paragraphs! Seems to work fine in the book (not confusing to me and I'm enjoying the story) but I sure get my hands slapped if an editor catches me at it.

:-[
One of the most well known scifi novels, Dune, is a head hopper.
 

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courtyoung said:
I was in the process of writing a blog post about edits and things and got on the subject of one of my biggest writing mistakes.
Go ahead and laugh, but when I wrote my first novel, I failed to write in chapters.
That one mistake has haunted me for months and it is something that I am still working on fixing.
Since I wrote the story over a year ago and have learned more about writing, it seems like such a noob thing to do, but I did it. lol.

Do any of you have anything that you did when you first started writing that you can look back on and laugh? ;D
Chapters aren't required. Check out E.L. Doctorow's Homer & Langley, for example. I would say scenes are required, though.
 

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I frequently write books while laboring under the misapprehension that a warped and disturbing sense of humor is an acceptable substitute for a plot. Apparently this is not the case.

I frequently write books while laboring under the misapprehension that some reader, somewhere, will appreciate the finely-nuanced skill and expertise with which I've done this, that, or some other incredibly annoying thing. Apparently being really good at something isn't enough, if what you're good at is annoying people. :)

I frequently write books while laboring under the misapprehension that characters should be talkative. Note to self: Write a book in which people just grunt and sigh and so on.

I frequently write books while laboring under the misapprehension that weird characters and interesting characters are the same thing. They aren't.

I have from time to time, while endeavoring and undertaking to produce a book, been in inexplicably and unfoundedly firm possession of the curiously intractable notion that merely because I, the writer and author and creator of such work, have little to no difficulty in following--much as a gosling may trail along gaily after its mother, or a strand of excrement may religiously follow a goldfish in a tank--a given sentence of immodest length and not inconsiderable complexity, those endeavoring to attempt to read the same for purposes of recreation or idle pleasure will naturally and as a matter of course encounter not the slightest iota of difficulty therein, even though I have been in receipt of comments which can be broadly summed up as attacking this stance as, in a word, erroneous, incorrect, untrue, and substantially wrong.

I'm also really bad at titles.
 

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Everything I write turns out to be something dark, I don't know why  ??? And commas, commas will be the death of me ... And possibly my writing career if I can't get them figured out. Ha ha.
 

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courtyoung said:
I was in the process of writing a blog post about edits and things and got on the subject of one of my biggest writing mistakes.
Go ahead and laugh, but when I wrote my first novel, I failed to write in chapters.
That one mistake has haunted me for months and it is something that I am still working on fixing.
Since I wrote the story over a year ago and have learned more about writing, it seems like such a noob thing to do, but I did it. lol.

Do any of you have anything that you did when you first started writing that you can look back on and laugh? ;D
There is no rule that says that you must have chapters. There is convention, but no rule. Many books have no chapters. It is wise to have a break between scenes even if it is just "***".
 

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KayBratt said:
Head-hopping. Meaning changing pov from person to person without separating by section or chapter.

Funny enough, I'm reading a trad book right now published by Penguin. The author changes pov back and forth between paragraphs! Seems to work fine in the book (not confusing to me and I'm enjoying the story) but I sure get my hands slapped if an editor catches me at it.

:-[
Then maybe you need a new editor?

David Weber head hops. He's one of Baen's most popular authors, and a person fave of mine. ;)
 

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smreine said:
I abuse emdashes horribly--but, to be fair, they probably deserve it.
I would say-if I possibly could-that I don't do this. Unfortunately-for the em-dashes at least-I most certainly cannot.
 

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In all seriousness there is very little outside technical aspects of writing that is wrong, and even some technical aspects are fiddled with for style by many authors.

What is a mistake is writing in a way that does not work. What that means is something that is vastly different for various individuals.
 

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DarkScribe said:
There is no rule that says that you must have chapters. There is convention, but no rule. Many books have no chapters. It is wise to have a break between scenes even if it is just "***".
Was gonna say, not a single published work of mine has chapters. Stylistic choice for the particular series. Still figuring out why it's a newb mistake. :p

When I first began seriously writing ten years ago it was basically head hopping (before I learned what omni was and how to actually use it. Life has changed much since then.) Also info dumping. Always a good time.
 

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My first novel didn't have a plot. Great characters, and some great turns of phrase, but those characters didn't do anything other than sit around being quirky and having great conversations. It was kinda like a Seinfeld episode, but Jerry Seinfeld I am not.

That book will NEVER see the light of day.

I used to be a head hopper, but now that I write exclusively in 1st person I don't have that problem anymore.

I still have a tendency to overuse some words, which is something I pay a lot of attention to in my own revisions before sending to my editor.
 

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The first novel I wrote (which I won't put up for sale because it's not good enough and would take a lot of work to revise) didn't have the main character driving the plot.  There were too many things that happened to her and she reacted to, instead of having her making decisions that drove the story.  I think that was the book's biggest weakness.  I also overuse semi-colons; if you ask my editor she'll tell you I also often use them incorrectly.
 

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Amanda Brice said:
My first novel didn't have a plot. Great characters, and some great turns of phrase, but those characters didn't do anything other than sit around being quirky and having great conversations.
So you were writing literary fiction?

Thank you, folks, I'll be here all evening.
 

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In my first Create Space proof I found 70+ spelling errors that spell check did not catch. Most embarrassing - most embarrassing because I had to submit an edit for the ebook version after some 300 people were already reading those mistakes.

As I tell my students: They're over there playing with their toys.  Put the whole thing over in that hole until you know which witch is watchin.

Don't trust your spell check. A friend said, proof your final draft reading it backwards you'll catch more errors.
 
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