In fact, I’m willing to bet there are at least a dozen more (that I’m sure to discover in due time). But, as for the specific 12 fatal flaws of fiction writing I’m currently discussing, five fantastic editors cover them in a book that releases tomorrow, aptly titled 5 Editors Tackle The 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing.
Truth be told, I haven’t finished reading it, but gauging from the first three chapters, this is a book I’ll certainly finish before embarking upon my own great novel-writing adventure.
Better Fiction Writing
Of the half-dozen bookshelves in my house, one is solely occupied by books about the writing craft. 5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing has earned a high spot on those shelves, and will be a recommended resource to the authors I work with and the writers I know.
C.S. Lakin, Linda S. Clare, Christy Distler, Robin Patchen, and Rachel Starr Thompson all present their own small essays regarding each of the 12 fatal flaws. In other words, that’s five editors’ suggestions on every fatal flaw. At first I thought this rather redundant (especially considering that the first chapter covers overwriting). But as I read through the chapter, I saw how each editor brings her own particular and useful insights to the topic at hand.
They also cover the flaws of:
- Nothin’ happenin’
- Weak construction
- Too much backstory
- POV violations
- Telling instead of showing
- Lack of pacing and tension
- Flawed dialog construction
- Description deficiencies and excesses
- Pesky adverbs and ‘weasel words’
- Flawed writing mechanics
Best of all, the editor-authors offer three utterly practical features throughout the book:
- Before and after examples that show how to effectively fix the fatal flaws.
- A checklist for each fatal flaw to help the reader-writer find these flaws in their own works.
- An example passage that allows the reader-writer to test themselves in discovering these fatal flaws, plus a suggested revision so that the reader-writer can see how closely their changes would have aligned with these editors’ changes.
5 Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing easily receives a five-star rating from me for its brevity, clarity, and practicality. If you want to get better at novel-writing, be sure to add 5 Editors to your writing library.
Disclaimer: I was offered a free advanced reader copy of 5 Editors from C.S. Lakin, on whose site I’ve previously guest posted: “Don’t Fear the Reaper: Why Writers Need Editors.”