Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Really Bad Ideas For Your Novel - Part 1

Have a main character who has the personality of a rock. There are too many of these in YA books right now and my theory is that authors want readers to feel like they are the character. However, a sign of a good writer is one that can make you feel like a character who does have a personality.

Write a dystopian that discusses the most important topic in modern day society, true love at first bloody sight. This is annoying. Dystopia is about a lot more than someone you have loved for a few minutes as a hormone raging teenager. It's about your basic freedoms, your rights as a person and about doing something about someone or something that threatens everyone. Please don't reduce it to a sappy love story. PLEASE!!

Don't use any description. It's simply boring.

Don't use any dialogue.Description is needed sometimes to help the reader understand where the characters are. If you love dialogue that much, write a script.

Use the names of people you know. Including last names. Some people may not like it. And don't use the names of people you know for the really horrible character. 

Make it as long as you can. And you can almost guarantee that no agent will ever want to see it. 

Put vampires in it and call it a Gothic novel. And send your vampires to school so they can repeat Year 13 a thousand times. If I was a vampire, I wouldn't be in school. I'd be too busy trying to be awesome! And Vampire =/= Gothic.

Part 2 will be on soon. 


  1. You make some very good points... I especially agree with the rock-personality one. Some characters are just so bland, who would want to read about them? Great post!

  2. I think it's just very easy to write a character with no personality which is why it's so common. But yes, not many people like bland characters.

  3. I agree with every single item on this list! It amazes me how often I see the first one you mentioned abused in books, 'cause gosh, as a writer myself, I can't stand writing bland protagonists--I'm always giving mine quirks and flaws so I don't get bored enough to stop writing entirely!

    Also, this?

    If I was a vampire, I wouldn't be in school. I'd be too busy trying to be awesome!

    HECK. YES. Unless there's a really good reason for it, I can't imagine why anyone--vampire or not--would want to repeat school like that, 'cause...well, it's SCHOOL. (Haha.)

  4. I know. It's always interesting to have a really flawed character. But some people think the best character is a perfect one. Readers find them annoying!

    Yeah, I know. Unless you loved it. I would personally be too busy using that immortality by gaining a huge amount of wealth and helping people. Or the vampire could be a teacher.


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