writing problems

Why you were rejected

Most of our rejections aren’t because the books are bad: the stories’ bones are fine. We reject them for pervasive, structural, totally-fixable flaws. Three main ones:

#1 – The book sounds like a rewrite of [popular title]. The author is creative, but still figuring out what they write. By imitating other authors’ styles and plots, they find their voice and learn how to hook readers.

Solution: They’ll break out on their own as they keep writing and gain confidence.

#2 – Their writing mechanics are too rough for the book to hold my attention. They might have unvaried sentence structure, too much description, unnatural dialogue, telling instead of showing, or too many asides. Everyone makes these craft errors.

Solution: Read good books. Find a critique group. Learn more about writing via books and workshops. Practice.

#3 – Their plot is too convoluted. New writers focus on characters, emotions, or concepts. As a result, the book follows the inner thoughts instead of actions or may have a reactive protagonist. Sometimes there’s too much going on and they miss necessary points. For example, many writers mistakenly begin at The Call instead of back at the Inciting Incident.

Solution: Same as #2.

Don’t toss your novel. Writing isn’t a born talent: it’s a skill we hone.

Give yourself a clean slate with a new project. Write it, finish, edit. If that book has problems, write another. You will see your craft improve.

TLDR: You refine your writing with practice. You will get there if you keep trying.


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