by Laura Peters


Whether you’re thinking about writing your life story or you want to write a completely fictional romance novel, it’s so important that you bring your story to life. There are lots of mistakes a new writer can make when crafting a story, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. That’s what the editing process is for! Below are some dos and don’ts that will help you to bring your story to life.


Do Create Complex Characters

You must have complex characters that will help you bring your story to life. It’s a good idea to plan them out beforehand, knowing their likes, dislikes, goals, intentions, and anything else about them that will move the story along. You don’t need to have every single detail in the book, but knowing as much as you can about them at first will help you to start writing.

Having an idea of complex characters in novels to give you inspiration will be a big help. Daniel Handler, also known as Lemony Snicket, created complex characters for his Series Of Unfortunate Events. Check out other examples and see what you can come up with.


Don’t Forget To Raise The Stakes

Your readers will get bored if you don’t raise the stakes from time to time. Make sure you create tension and that there’s something at stake.


Do Create Authentic Dialogue

Make sure your characters talk how they would talk depending on where they’re from, their age, who they’re talking to, etc. Don’t just make them talk the way you talk. Listen to conversations other people have and emulate them.


Don’t Add Pointless Words

You don’t need to make your writing complicated for it to be good. If you can use a simple word, it’s usually the best thing to do.


Do Show, Not Tell

Showing, rather than telling, allows you to engage all of the senses of the reader and bring them right into the story. It can be difficult to do this, which is why you may need to keep it in mind, especially during the editing process. Some telling is okay, but you mostly want to show.


Don’t Include Details That Aren’t Essential To Your Narrative

You don’t have to include every single detail if it’s not essential to your narrative. You may have performed some research for your book, but that doesn’t mean you have to include every little thing you have learned.


Do Avoid Dream Sequences At All Costs

This is such a cliche and will make your book boring. Avoid, avoid, avoid.  


Don’t Rip Off Another Author Or Story

It’s pretty impossible to come up with a 100% unique story, but don’t rip off another author or story. You can have inspirations, but don’t copy.


Do Keep Practicing

Writing well takes practice. You can’t expect your very first draft of your very first novel to be a hit, or even your final draft of your fourth novel. If you want to write, do it no matter what. Practice really does make perfect!




Contributed article supplied by Laura Peters.