So on Random Buzzers.com there is a question of the week. This week's question was "What would you say is the number-one mistake aspiring authors make?"
There were some good answers and some bad ones. I am going to go through some of them in this post and tell you whether or not you should listen to their advice, and then I'll add some of my own at the bottom.
Answer #1- Laura Resau, Author, "The Indigo Notebook" says:
Many writers dive into a wonderful story, but then, a few chapters in, they get stuck and eventually give up. I think writers need to understand that it's natural to encounter obstacles on the story's journey. You just need to come up with strategies to write through the struggles and finish the book!
This is entirely true. I have a big problem with not finishing my stories. A lot of people do. Just write it. It doesn't matter if it comes out horrible because that's what revising is for, right?
Answer #2- Brooke77 says: not trying.
Well if you don't try it's not going to work. If you're not committed to writing a story (and finishing) then don't write one. Good answer.
Answer #3- thebookmuncher says: Thinking that they are the next big thing. More often than not, they aren't.
This isn't the best advice to give someone. Obviously (for most people) their stories aren't going to be very good until they have written (and finished) a bunch of stories. But that doesn't mean they can't be the next big thing. As long as your head stays the right size you're good.
Answer #4- ScarrletReader says: They give up on something that could be great because of loss of interest.
This happens. If you're not interested in it you're not going to be very good at writing it, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. If you find yourself loosing interest in your unfinished story, take a break from it (try not to start any new ones. If you have an idea write it down so you can come back to it) and try and find some new inspiration for it. Watch movies, read books, see plays, stuff like that.
Answer #5- bookiegirlie says: They don't know grammar rules.
Uh, sorry bookiegirlie, but this is a stupid answer. Grammar isn't the most important thing when you're writing a story (unless it's an assignment for school). That doesn't mean you should not worry about grammar at all, just don't make it the point of your story. If grammar is your focus, then write a book about grammar. If you make a mistake and you catch it, then fix it. If you don't catch it just then, well that's what editing is for. Remember, editing comes after revising and they are NOT the same thing.
Answer #6- xoxo4rica says: To not pursue your wildest ideas. Books are a form of expression, so express yourself!
Excellent answer. If you have a great idea, write it down. Don't try to write a book that is the same as all the books everybody else is writing. (Some) People get tired of reading forty million books about vampire romances. Write your own story, not someone else's.
Answer #7- muggs1105 says: Not having a good story line, technically, the story should have a Beginning, Middle and End.
If you're writing for the first time every, your story line isn't going to be great. So if you're a first time writer, try to have a beginning, middle, and end, but if you're not quite there yet, don't worry. You will be. Now if you've been writing for years and none of your stories have a defined beginning, middle, or end, then I think we have a problem.
Answer #8- hobbitsies says: Comparing their book to other books. Never a good idea! It just discourages you.
Pretty self explanatory. I like it.
Answer #9- Pinkangel1026 says: I think people try to please others when it is more important that they are happy and proud of their work.
Always write for yourself. Don't worry about what other people think. You can have the best story ever written and there will still be someone who hates it. Ignore the people who live to tell you that your writing is horrible and listen to the people who actually like your book. That doesn't mean disregard criticism. There is a reason why it is called "constructive" criticism.
Answer #10- ikra says: using vampires
Answer #11- intothemorning says: I think many aspiring writers make the mistake that they HAVE to write from beginning to end with everything in order. Not so. Writing scenes on notecards and arranging them how I want them before writing has been so helpful to me in the past!
Again, pretty self explanatory. It's your story, write it however you want.
Answer #12- Actinupwithbooks says: I think some writers edit themselves before they even start to write when they should just put pen to paper and let the words flow. Sometimes I edit my ideas so much that they never are written in the first place.
Editing comes last. With this answer, I think she actually means revising. Don't revise anything unless you get stuck, something doesn't fit, or you finished your first draft. Just write it.
Answer #13- BertieBoo4196 says: Mispelling words I read books with mispelled words. I'll be like um is this spelled write
Notice how this person used 'write' instead of 'right' and misspelled 'mispelling.' Needless to say, I laughed when I saw this answer, and you should to. Spelling is not important. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try to spell words right, just don't make it the focus of your story (sound familiar?). Write a dictionary if you love spelling words so much. As for published books with misspelled words, that is probably not the author's fault. It is the editors. But don't make a big deal about it. They have to fix a lot of mistakes. It's not a huge deal if one slips by.
These aren't all of the answers that were given so go to www.randombuzzers.com if you want to see more of them. Some of them are quite ridiculous, but I think the most ridiculous by far was the one about 'mispelled words.'
The number one mistake is not finishing. Even if you know that your story isn't going to turn out, finish it. If you still really like that story, fix it. If not, start (and finish) a new one. I have a problem with this concept ;) Another mistake is having too many stories going at once. If you have an idea, write it down and come back to it later. Editing comes after revising. No, they are not the same thing. Revising is fixing your story and making it flow (short definition, there is more to it) and editing is fixing the grammar and spelling and making sure you didn't actually put the wrong name in that spot, or the wrong school in that other part. Editing is easy. Revising, not as easy. If you want some info on revising, I suggest you vising Maggie Stiefvater's blog (I'll post a link on the links page) and look in her archives. She is an author and knows what she is talking about so listen to her. I also know what I am talking about so listen to me too! :)
Thanks for reading, and I hoped this helped!