Hello, dear readers! As I mentioned in one of my previous blog posts, I used to write some cheesy and, honestly, a little obscene fiction and the fact that I did it makes me cringe until this very day. Just imagine thirteen, fourteen year old girl, who barely had her first kiss, trying to write about romance she had never experienced in real life. However, when I discovered Wattpad, I was amazed that so many teenagers like to write and what amazed me even more was the fact that they published their work and actually got positive reviews. At that time I didn’t think about it enough to realize that most comments were probably from their peers, who had as little knowledge about writing and romance as young authors their own. Nevertheless, I quickly joined the crowd of teenagers, publishing their writing on Wattpad because that made me feel like a cool kid and I made lots of new friends while keeping up with this teenage writer trend. For few years I found the whole process exciting and actually thought my content was good. How could I not? Today, when I log in on my Wattpad profile that, for some unknown reason I haven’t deleted yet, my most popular story, called “She’s trouble”, has 69 614 reads, 1 077 votes and has been added to 26 reading lists. I guess, quite a lot teenage girls found my content interesting. However, I won’t share links to my cringe worthy “masterpieces” because they are not worth reading. What I will do is share the most common mistakes beginners, especially teenage beginners make when they start writing fiction.
- Plot of the book wasn’t planned out. I kind of knew what my characters were but I had no idea where are they going, what is their goal, their purpose. If plot of a book is roughly like “going from point A to point B”, my heroes were staying at point A the whole time and occasionally making trouble because without trouble the book would be way too boring.
- Publishing the chapter right after writing it. My so-called book wasn’t already written when I published the first chapter. I was just kind of winging it and barely had any idea what is going to happen in the next chapter. After some time writing on Wattpad started to make me nervous because as soon as I found out that some people actually enjoyed reading the crap I published, I felt like they’re constantly waiting for more and that I should publish regularly. I tried my best to still “wing it” and stick to some kind of schedule but the more time passed, the more I started to perceive writing as a chore. Which is why I quit writing regularly and occasionally published several updates until I quit using Wattpad completely.
- Following clichés and copying ideas of others. People often say that copying others is the right thing to do when you are just starting out. Maybe it would have been like that but the thing is – those other people did not have much more knowledge about writing, planning out a great plot, making character seem realistic than I did. So I got inspired from poor writing of others and adapter clichés like being underage and falling in love with young, hot teacher, bad boy or stepfather, being the most popular girl in school etc. Now the idea of those story scenarios happening in real life makes me frown because no stepfather or teacher should seduce someone who’s underage and it’s all kinds of wrong. But in teenage years, I guess, a lot of people, especially girls had those twisted fantasies about forbidden love in their heads and I still don’t know where did they got them.
- Writing about unrealistic characters with unrealistic lives. Just because I copied others, I did not include realistic characters in my books but invented a mix of everything I have read about instead. Right now the thought that I did that makes me want to slam my head against the wall but at the time it seemed like a good idea. Side note: I have learned that readers don’t want to read about characters that aren’t realistic because it is not possible to relate to them. Thanks to Jenna Moreci for this brilliant grain of thought because I was not ingenious enough to figure out that by myself.
- Writing terrible sex scenes. It’s no secret that almost everyone in their early teens is a walking and breathing set of raging hormones and at that part of out lives we think about sex quite often. Maybe that was the reason because 99% of teen written fiction had several sex scenes in it. What makes this fact cringe worthy is that these scenes were poorly written. No wonder – some of us had zero action at that time and it’s not possible to write believable scene about something you have never experienced yourself. If I could ever give advice to teenage writers, I’d suggest them to wait until they are older and more experienced. Of course, you might figure out how it’s done technically from movies (or porn, which I don’t suggest) but you will never catch the emotional side of it and most people don’t want to read dry description of sex with several serious mistakes in it.
These are 5 of the most popular mistakes young writers including me, especially on Wattpad, have made while trying to write fiction. It was an exciting time in my life when I first tried to get my content out there, even before creating my very first blog and even though I feel a little ashamed about it, I can definitely learn a lot from my first attempts. Since then I have found my own voice and the topics I feel passionate about, and learned a lot of tips and tricks on how to improve my writing. However, I’m still learning every day and I have decided to create new Wattpad profile to publish my writing on in the future. This time I definetly won’t make the mistakes I mentioned in this post.
Have you ever tried writing fiction and what were the mistakes you made?
Love, Porcelain Doll.