Narrative Writing: Common Mistakes to Avoid
Table of Contents
Show Your Audience instead of Telling ThemYou surely need to follow the artistic guidelines of writing, even if you don’t expect to write the next best-seller. It means that you need to reveal the events of your narrative in a slow and crafty manner instead of stating them blatantly. For instance, don’t just say that your character has an eating disorder. Better describe this person’s thoughts about food and add several scenes or dialogues that demonstrate this disorder to the read.
Add Suspense and ForeshadowingWhen a person reads a story with suspense, he/she anticipates the following events, guesses what might happen and wonders about all the yet unknown things. So, add some suspense in your narrative. Don’t give the reader a complete story right away. Show it little by little and reveal everything later or even in the end. There are several ways you can do it:
- Add intriguing or odd details in your narrative.
- Have your character undergo a life-threatening or near-death experience.
- Provide direct and indirect clues about the further events.
Don’t Overload with InformationDo you have too much information that you want to logically convey to your reader? Better don’t include all of it as it may affect the readability of your narrative. Keep in mind that if the reader finds it hard to get through everything you’re writing, he/she won’t be interested even in the most elaborate story. So, don’t add too many events to your narrative. It won’t make it better in any way. Explain the happenings in a clear and brief fashion. Also, don’t overwhelm your narrative with unneeded characters. Allow your reader to get the key idea you are trying to convey.
Don’t Make Dialogue MistakesAdding too many dialogues is also one of the most common mistakes of the beginning writers. Don’t explain all the details in the dialogues. Better write functional paragraphs and add intense but short dialogues into your narrative to keep your reader interested.
Pay Attention to the AudienceIf you don’t pay enough attention to your audience and the purpose of your narrative, you won’t make people interested in reading it. While writing, ask yourself such questions as:
- How do I want the reader to feel after reading my narrative?
- Do I want to make the reader cry, laugh, or start thinking about something differently?
- What do I want to attain with this narrative?
- Why am I writing?