- Leading with the setup. If you’re like me, you thought you needed to give your reader some information up front so they would understand what was going on. I guess it was a little boring, but my reader was well prepared for the good stuff they never got to 🙂 Setup, regardless of how well written, is boring.
- Telling too much. Yes, I’m guilty of this one too. Remember backstory and passive voice distance the reader from the action. If your reader’s sense of immediacy is lost, meaning she can’t visualize the events as they occur, you may lose her.
- Scenes that lack conflict. You probably guessed I was guilty of this one too 🙂 I had scenes that were nothing but backstory and setup. I really feel bad for the family members and friends I asked to read my finished manuscript.
- Writing unsympathetic characters. Yes, I got this one right 🙂 Readers want to connect emotionally with the heroine and hero. They want to root for them, laugh with them, cry with them. Clearly establish the character’s motivation for behaving in any manner that might make them appear unsympathetic.
- Giving the reader a reason to stop reading. Don’t allow a chapter or scene to end on an anticlimactic moment. Always end scenes/chapters with a hook. And yes, I’m guilty of this one too 🙂
Something to think about.