Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Why I threw that book against the wall (and broke my ereader!)

Plot holes you could drive a semi-trailer (18-wheeler) through.
They arrive at the party on foot thinking it’s a lovely evening for a walk. Then get into their SUV during the party to chase after the bad guys which includes climbing over fences and running like crazy. Hang on she was wearing high heels and a pretty dress. And she’s doing all this? And where did the car come from? Did they steal it?

Annoying characters.
He’s not Alpha, he’s pig-headed, arrogant, and is not protecting her, he’s using her as a doormat. Or, she’s so stunningly beautiful it makes the reader feel ill and she’s useless. Stands there wringing her hands and lets the villain catch her or the hero use her.

Bad grammar, head hopping that gives the reader whiplash, poor sentence construction, misplaced words, typos.
And so on. Solution—get an editor. Your best friend reading your book and telling you it’s wonderful is great. But you still need an editor.

Lack of world-building
This is most obvious in fantasy/futuristic worlds but is true for any book. If there are two green moons in chapter two, why is there a red moon in chapter ten? If the vampire in chapter six cannot go outside during the day why can the vampire in chapter ten attack the heroine in the middle of the day at the office? If the hero drove south for ten minutes to get to Grandma’s house on page forty why did it take an hour on page 120? As the author you can do anything you like, but you have explain to the reader how it is possible and why it is logical.

There’s lots of other details to get right, but fix these first and you’ll be well on the way to keeping your readers happy.

Helen Woodall

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.


anny cook said...

Hmmmm. Green moon, you say?

Helen Woodall: Freelance Editing said...

I'm sure you can fit a green moon in there somewhere!