Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Really Bad Ideas For Your Novel - Part 3

It's been a long time since I last did one of these. They were fun so I thought I'd do another one.

Click below to go read part 1 and 2.
Part 1
Part 2

Make your chapters really long. Readers need breaks and this comes in the form of chapters. Keep chapters to a maximum of 7500 words. If they get too long, it becomes more likely for a reader to turn off.

Give your characters unpronounceable names. I hate writers who give their characters foreign names or make complex ones up and then provide no information on how to say the damn name. I used to call Hermione (Her-me-own-knew) and it was really embarrassing when my teacher laughed at me for it.

Include no chapters whatsoever. And you'll end up with a big, ugly block of text. Formatting is good people! Take advantage of it.

Include personal details. Would you like a stalker?

Include the personal details of other people. I'm pretty sure this is illegal.

Have a prologue. Go read this post on prologues (CLICK HERE!)

Set your novel in a real life place you have never gone to and then include a lot of specific details of this place. This is dangerous. By including a vast amount of detail, you're digging yourself into a hole. When you include this detail and have no idea whether it is right or not, you're increasing the likelihood of a reader catching you out. If you haven't visited this place, invent a new place based off it.

Hope you enjoyed this post!



  1. ...good points, but the last one can be a challenge without Google images and a trip or two to the library ;)


    1. I will admit that Google Earth and Maps can definitely make it easier and books really do help. You can do it if you want but lots of research is needed!

  2. I do like short chapters. Sometimes it means I can read more if I have time and if I don't I can just read one chapter.

    I do love making up places to set my stories. If I didn't live in a place I wouldn't use it as a setting in case I do get something wrong. But then I mostly make places up based on places I know from my area.

    And think I might need to do something about pronouncing character names. Think I have a few that might need a bit about how to pronounce it.

    1. Making up a place is the best bit about writing. It definitely is fun and takes pressure off the writer.

      Some names are easy to understand but sometimes you find books with names that include too many consonants and not enough vowels. It's like an awful moment on Countdown!

  3. I keep mt chapters around 3,000 words and sometime I think even that is a little long :)

    1. That's a good length for a novel. I've read some books where chapter lengths are ridiculous. I know I put up 7500 but even then, I think anything above 6000 words needs to either be edited or split into two.

      Don't worry. I can barely get to 3000 words for my chapters.


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