How to not write a badass novel

I’ve worked on my novel for a year now and it’s slow going. Sometimes it’s because I can’t stop editing as I go, other times life gets in the way. So, I worry if by the time I finish the damn thing will it be obsolete.

Obsolete Technology, Microfilms

Do you want your novel to fail?

I don’t, and just like the old TV series, What Not to Wear, I don’t want to jump on a trend train only to find it’s so last season.  I want to stay current, not writing a historical novel, and relative to my readers. Thanks to Fay Weldon for a timely article on how not to write a novel. Now when I do my rewrites I know what to look for.

Will my novel fit her “how not to” list?

Great question!

According to Fay, here is what I need to watch for.

  • Avoid writing like a robot. Show a bit of personality. Don’t bore the reader to death. This makes my book uniquely mine.
  • Watch out for the age gap. Hmm, glad to know because I didn’t realize there was one in writing.
  • Give the book an attention-grabbing, strong title. Okay, this I knew but it’s not as easy as it sounds.
  • In addition to writing a bang-up novel, write a sparkling synopsis. Another difficult task for me. Sigh…
  • Give readers a relatable character.
  • Don’t write like an old codger. Words change, so make sure you change with the times. Keep up with the times by reading current authors.
  • Be careful trying to find the best seller genre. Niche marketing is where it’s at. Find out where yours fits. Romance is a fail-safe, but erotica is not. Satire, there’s no market for it.
  • Have something to say but don’t preach. Don’t let a reader close your book and wonder “what the hell.” Let them see the “heart of your book.”
  • Set your imagination free. Writing about evil doesn’t make you evil, writing about sex doesn’t make you a slut. Go where your characters take you with gusto.
  • Don’t write to get rich. Nothing new there. LOL

Check out Fay’s article and tell me what spoke to you.

Death Of A She Devil author gives her tips on how *not* to write a novel… By FAY WELDON

Do you have suggestions on how not to write?

What did you think of the article?

Are you hitting all the right points?


Want to know more? Click on these links to find more about what not to do in writing.

15 Reader Frustrations to Avoid in Your Novel 

7 Things That Will Doom Your Novel (& How to Avoid Them)

Writing And Editing: Five Problems to Avoid in Your First Novel

How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis: A Step-by-Step System for Enticing New Readers, Selling More Fiction, and Making Your Books Sound Good by [Cohen, Bryan]






3 thoughts on “How to not write a badass novel

  1. “Give readers a relatable character” – this is really good advice, and I like to think about it a bit further. I try to give my characters relatable _problems_. Even if I write a book about a time travelling vampire caveman who controls weather with his hair, if he stubs his toe everyone is like “oh man, I feel your pain, strange troglodyte from the past”

    Liked by 1 person

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