What? I can only choose one?
But there are so many great ones such as:
Running into a plot hole the size of the Grand Canyon. Did I mention clichés?
Or how about when an author sets things into motion, building tension, everything heading toward a certain logical conclusion and then BAM! POW! Holy Hockey sticks, Batman...it’s a badly executed plot twist.
And then there is its close cousin...silly and frequent misunderstandings between the hero and heroine for the sake of tension.
Or weak characters that just allow things to happen to them.
Oh, wait! There’s another huge one I almost forgot--->>A strong female character suddenly loses her mind and starts acting in ways that make her Too-Stupid-To-Live. However, I’m totally okay if the protagonist makes a choice to save her loved ones, even if doing so jeopardizes her life. I believe the heroine has as much right to be a ‘hero’ as the hero.
The list goes on. And I’ve run into all of them at one time or another while reading. (And editing my own work. ::gasp!:: But isn’t writing about learning to better one’s craft? You bet.)
But my biggest pet peeve is not being able to get a novel written in a reasonable amount of time. This one ranks highest partly because I like to keep goals, but also because I’m disappointing readers. (No one was more surprised than me when I started getting blog comments, emails and facebook friends asking when the next book will be out.)
Myself, when I’m reading a series, if I have to wait too long for the next installment, especially if it’s written as a continuing story, I tend to get cranky and turn into this---->
Sure, stuff happens—life, the day job, family commitments, and let us not forget book promotion. It all eats into writing time. But every author has those problems, and what works for one person doesn’t always work for another.
What works best for me?
Writing it out by hand. Yes, really. A couple months back, I decided to write a novel out by hand, and to my great surprise the planning, drafting, and writing just came so much easier. For whatever reason, when I write it out by hand, it just comes out as a cleaner draft, the characters and plot just ‘work’ that much better. It wasn’t until I stopped to wonder about this that it became clear why.
There was no internet.
No facebook. No Twitter, email, pinterest, or blog posts.
Yes, yes, yes...you still need to take part in all that. But if you’re scatterbrained like me, you need to dedicate an allotted time to each of those tasks without letting it eat up all your writing time. My brain just works better if I can allow it to focus fully on one goal at a time. This might not work for everyone, but if you’re having trouble meeting deadlines, give it a try.
Thanks for stopping by and happy writing!
Lisa Blackwood is the author of Betrayal’s Price (a romantic epic fantasy)