Writing a great story might be your goal, but you should also consider what will annoy your readers. Unfortunately, when writing a first draft, you’ll have likely done all of these things. But that’s okay, that’s what editing is for!
#1 : Excess Word Count
This will be the absolutely most annoying thing you can do to your reader. It may be in the form of info dumps, flashbacks, wordy prose, but it’s going to be there, and it’s your job to edit it out. Get to the point.
I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.
– Blaise Pascal
#2: Annoying or bland characters
Characters are what make the book worth reading. If you have stilted dialogue, paper thin characters, and plot-driven action with no meaning or consequence, what’s the point?
Ok, maybe that’s harsh. So your characters are well thought-out, but are they likable? Or at least, can the reader love to hate them? Utilize beta readers and discover how people react to your creations, and be ready to dig deeper and discover how to make your characters grow and thrive.
“I like long walks, especialy when they are taken by people who annoy me.”
― Noël Coward
#3: No Narrative Thrust
A popular term for building excitement about a book is the “hook.” But don’t think that your logline is where a hook ends. There needs to be a hook at the end of every chapter, a hook linking one paragraph to the next, and running mysteries that become unwrapped like a gift for the reader. Leave a trail of bread crumbs and lead your reader all the way to the end. If you don’t, they might just turn around and walk the other way.
If you liked these tips and are looking for more, I encourage you to check out the Guide to Writing Your First Novel, Free on Kindle Unlimited: