There are so many things to learn and know when you start off writing. But what are the things that trip up writers the most or cause the most detriment to a new author's career?
Join us as we try to one-up each other for the worst mistake new authors make while doing our best to keep the show on track at the same time. Who do you think "won" the show?
And don't forget, this is the last chance to submit YOUR questions for our 100th Episode Q&A podcast! Add your questions and audio file to the form at https://forms.gle/KDHdPnUB5A9cwViz7
Tune in for new episodes EVERY single Monday.
SUPPORT THE AM WRITING FANTASY PODCAST!
Please tell a fellow author about the show and visit us at Apple podcast and leave a rating and review.
Join us at www.patreon.com/AmWritingFantasy. For as little as a dollar a month, you’ll get awesome rewards and keep the Am Writing Fantasy podcast going.
Read the full transcript below. (Please note that it's automatically generated and while the AI is super cool, it isn't perfect. There may be misspellings or incorrect words on occasion).
You're listening to The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast in today's publishing landscape. You can reach fans all over the world. Query letters are a thing of the past. You don't even need a literary agent. There is nothing standing in the way of making a living from Writing joined two best selling authors who have self published more than 20 books between them now onto the show with your hosts Autumn Birt and Jesper Schmidt
and I'm Autumn.
This is episode 98 of The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast. And today we are going to give You one of ours. Well, Let's call it the entertaining. There's a top 10 list where we are alternate by giving you five each. And the topic is Mistakes that amateur writers make, so this should be fun. All of them, it should be really fun. And I didn't want to see anything before we actually started the recording, but do you know how easy it was to come up with topics for this one?
Autumn (1m 4s):
We have 'em in video two as a starter kit. This kit has the ten reasons new authors fail. I may have changed.
Jesper (1m 14s):
And you needed, is that what you're saying?
Autumn (1m 16s):
No, I was, I was really proactive and I happened to have to come up with this list are about two or three years ago.
Jesper (1m 25s):
You, that sounds like cheating to me.
Autumn (1m 27s):
Would I might've edited the things around and will talk about it later. But how are things over in Denmark? I hear COVID spiking up a little bit again. Yeah, it is. It is getting a bit worse here as well, but yeah, I don't know. COVID is not an interesting job. Well, how are things otherwise you are still refereeing and everything. I'll take it and pass. And we'll Yeah that? We started to pack our stuff in boxes now and getting ready to move, buy the first week of December. Wow. We've got gotten very far yet, but I'm sure it will get there.
Jesper (2m 9s):
Will it, it will probably start to become even more stressful as time approaches, but yeah, there was nothing much to do about that other than get packing and I'll take it, try to take it hour with a sense of humor when you're like, where is Oh I pack that already. Where is that box? So that was already at the new apartment. Oh, well, I guess I'm not going to speed. Yeah. And even the police are quite busy because they are sorting through all of their old Lego to see what they want to sell and what they want to keep. So it was pretty busy with that as well. And they have a lot of Lego, so that was one of my favorite toys too, as a kid. So that's pretty cool. Yeah. Yeah. And in between everything that I've sort of been working on the outline for our future reader, magnet, as you said, you said that to me today.
Jesper (2m 55s):
Yeah. I can't wait to look through that. I was two, it was right before we recording when I downloaded It. So I haven't even looked at it yet, but I will look at it this week. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. I'm really looking forward to start writing some fiction again, it's been like, well, a long, long time this entire year, basically we have been focusing on our non-fiction stuff with the plodding guides that we've published earlier this year and the summer, or a slightly after summer. And then the causes that we've been really busy recording over the past few months. So it's just been a lot of nonfiction, which is great, but I am looking forward to writing some fiction. Again, I, that
Autumn (3m 35s):
I completely understand 'cause as you know what I mean, I'm full-time graphic artist and writer an Am Writing Fantasy or, and whatever else. And that's what I do. So I do, I have been sneaking in Writing, but I've recently I challenged myself because I I've created a publishing deadline and I really wanna release this series. I'm going to start releasing it and at the end of February, but that means to stay on track. I have to finish I'm on a book to out of three. I'd have to finish it by the end of October. And I am down two, a chapter a day. And I don't usually write quite that way. I can write that fast, but I have lots of other work to do too. So I usually don't give myself, I don't give myself to have much time, but I have been in, I've been keeping up with it and it's tough, but it's so it's also, so we're both task-oriented.
Autumn (4m 26s):
So to say that to cross off a whole chapter every single day for the last week has been like, Oh, this is so exciting. It's it's just four more and I will actually make the deadline. Now I have five days left at the month. I think I we'll do this. I, I think I will do it. I'll get pretty darn darn close. So I am feeling pretty good. And then I'm on to the final book of the series and I'm looking forward though, to writing our books together because we have been plotting for a year and this sounds so exciting and it'll be totally different. So I'm all about writing. The more I can write the better it is. So this will be exciting.
Jesper (5m 4s):
Yeah it? It, it, have you already edited the first book in to their, or is it, is it the first draft that you were done with now
Autumn (5m 11s):
And with the first draft I'm planning on editing in January for at least book one, I'm not going to edit all three of them. I want them all written, but I'll just edit the first one and get it. I'm going to, hopefully in December, get everything up as a preorder. And I, which means I'd have to do the cover is, and this is one of the first time, because my timeline is so tight that I'm actually so tempted to get someone else to do covers for me. But I know I'll probably break down one day in and just make my cover's. Yeah. I'll hire myself and schedule it like the best ideas probably. But yeah, it's a little bit of a crazy, but if 2021, I'm hoping to release a book every two months into different series and maybe a few stand-alones and plus we'll be writing with you.
Autumn (5m 56s):
And plus I've got little ghost writing thing on the side, and plus I'm back, I've been helping to new authors with their work. So I'm a little busy plus everyone and Am, Writing Fantasy and all the courses and all those students. And I'm up to 12 hours a day doing this, but I love it. And so much so that's, that's the most important thing, right? Is a bad day. Writing is better than a good day at my old office. So I love it here.
Jesper (6m 27s):
Oh, we can go on the internet with The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast so this one is the last reminder about the upcoming episode 100, which is going to be an ask us anything Episode. So we would love for you to submit your questions to me.
Autumn (6m 44s):
Yes. We're looking forward to it. And as we've mentioned, there's a link in the show notes. So you can go to a Google form and fill that out, and we'd really love it. If you shared an audio clip or a video, and you know, you don't have to record yourself. If you can record your feet to the window, we just went the audio file. We are not going to do anything else with it. So we just want to strip the audio and be able to have your voice on the podcast with us as you ask, Oh, or whatever crazy question you can come up with, we've already covered. I would love to hear more about you and the habits in New Zealand. So that would be on my list, but how are you going to ask about our books, our lives?
Autumn (7m 27s):
So say, you know, we probably might mention, I'll talk about my dog, but I think your kids are off the table. I think that's okay.
Jesper (7m 35s):
Okay. Well, you can ask us anything. It doesn't mean that we are going to answer anything or whatever you want me to ask for your free, and then we might edit a, whatever we feel like it will be gone that way, but that's the way it goes. So that's it, that's the power of the microphone.
Autumn (7m 52s):
You know, we could always come here. We can use, see the, the audio in and kind of, you know, learn to be polite, political and direct the question to whatever answer or we feel like a thing
Jesper (8m 4s):
Is it that was like, like the best of politicians that doesn't really Add. They don't answer the question that was asked.
Autumn (8m 11s):
You can always answer with an answer or with a question to ask you how to answer a question with a question and you know, it just keeps going on and on and on it.
Jesper (8m 18s):
Yeah, it will be. But otherwise I also feel like it's a, it's been a fairly Bishop of time in the Am Writing Fantasy Facebook group, or at least those new people joining all the time, which was awesome to see
Autumn (8m 30s):
It is. And it's been so active. I've missed out a little bit over the weekend, cause I was tied up with something else, but every time I go in there, there's always someone waiting to get in and I feel bad even in this only a couple hours, but its, we can keep up with them, but it's wonderful.
Jesper (8m 48s):
Absolutely. Yeah. And I think there is what I really like to be honest is that there was a lot of it and that not that there was a lot of engagement that is of course nice But but also that in general it is a very far in between that somebody sort of breaks the rules and Postlight self-promotion it happens so once in a while, but its actually pretty rare. It, most of the post are genuine like inspirational staff or asked for help or feedback or something like that. And there was always a lot of people pitching and I mean, I think we've got a past, a critical mass in the group in that there's always a lot of responses when people post Whitsett.
Jesper (9m 28s):
I like to see a Yeah
Autumn (9m 30s):
Right and some good responses Yeah there chatting You Hello
Jesper (9m 35s):
Yeah. 'cause if we go back like one and a half, two years as much as a bit more quiet in there. And I think there was just wasn't enough people, but we are sort of getting to a stage now where there's enough people in there where you're going to get a response or most, I wouldn't say guaranteed, but almost guaranteed. If you ask a question and there was, somebody will make a very insightful response for you. So, so that was great.
Autumn (10m 1s):
I don't know if you're on Facebook or if you're on Facebook, come join us on Am Writing Fantasy and a promise I'll try to get in there a little more often.
4 (10m 15s):
All right. So
Jesper (10m 19s):
I think actually the first of all, at least when I look down at my list here, yes. I think I'd have to say for a start that the listeners probably know some of what I'm going to share already. I'm at least if there are a bit experienced with Writing, if they are all new to riding then maybe not. I don't know. Probably they are, the listener will know some of it, but they are all things, at least on my list here that can improve your writing and also help to make it read more professional. So I guess the listener can use our top 10 here as sort of a checklist to see if they are on track with everything. If they already know it, then they could sort of be happy with checking off and say, yeah, yeah, yeah, I have it under control.
Jesper (11m 5s):
Or you can also feel good at the things that you are maybe not doing in the sense that it will give you a few opportunities where you can approve upon your writing.
Autumn (11m 15s):
I actually all joking aside about the starter kit and actually is not joking. The second video really is 10 reasons new writers fail. But I thought about it. I almost sent you an email earlier today saying you should I focus on things? I see a lot of that new writers do as an editor and as a coach or should I focus on things that I think, or the most important that if you do, this is a really bad thing. So I actually decided in the end I came up with eight total and I combined them and merged, I merged my lists so that I had a tough time that our, I see fairly commonly and are pretty critical sort of like what you were saying, you, you really try to not do these.
Autumn (12m 1s):
The bottom three are more like, well they are probably, it's not that big of a mistake. You'll you'll you'll survive that one, but the other one's a little bit more painful. So those were, that's how I do differentiate it up on my list. I resist to be mailing you. I figured I could figure this out on my own.
Jesper (12m 23s):
Yeah. Okay, cool. Yeah. I've tried to rank mine in order as well, so that it goes from sort of the smallest stuff to the bigger picture.
Autumn (12m 32s):
Oh, okay. Sounds good. I think I did that and now I'm looking at it over very quickly going, did I do that? I think I did that. Yeah. I think I'm good. Okay. I'll stand with it. And if I change my mind is the end. Well it's because I didn't pay attention to my order as
Jesper (12m 49s):
A fan of nobody will know it, unless you say it
Autumn (12m 51s):
Out loud. So I get to like number three and go no that one's should have been for a hard head.
Jesper (12m 58s):
Yeah. And then maybe also in the end, maybe we can try to see if we can, so I have five, you have five and then maybe we can see if we can agree on one out of all of those 10. That is like the way
Autumn (13m 12s):
The first one. Okay. That sounds good. I will not be surprised. I bet we have overlap. So the reader as well, our listeners will have to forgive us if we don't quite have 10 because we psychologically just, Oh, come up with a similar thing.
Jesper (13m 30s):
Yeah. And if the listener, if you have listened to some PA a past episode where we are doing these lists, then you will know a part of the funniest to see how much overlap we actually have that. So we have not coordinated any of our five. I have five that I did an isolation and all of that at the same. Yes. So we'll see how much have a overlapping there is and how much we agree or, or maybe we can surprise each other who knows?
Autumn (13m 54s):
Hm, no. I'm thinking of overlap. No, not really. And I will be fun to see and I, maybe I will share my last three cars. One of them is very, very New that I I've noticed more of a trend of. So, you know, I've got that one in reserve and we'll see if you come up with it, but yeah, I will do my best to keep score Again but I'm ready whenever you are. If you want to start with your number five Mistakes that does make sense.
Jesper (14m 25s):
Okay. Okay. I'll make it go for it. So my number five it's well, actually the funny thing in my notes, I want one, two, three, four, or five, meaning that number five was the worst. A number one was the least worst. So now you want me to start with number five? It's like at the wrong thing. Right? So I'll do that. But not just the one that says number one in my notes, this is the number five engine.
Autumn (14m 46s):
So that's one difference. You have my number one is a horse. Right? Okay. So at this one is a small talk in dialogue that doesn't have any relevance to the story. So that will be something like, wow, it's
Jesper (15m 4s):
Really raining this morning.
Autumn (15m 6s):
Yes, it is really pouring down. No, yes, no. I got all wet coming here that this is not interesting
Jesper (15m 14s):
To the reader right now is just fill awards and you, you,
Autumn (15m 16s):
You need to avoid that kind of thing. Yeah. That's absolutely. I don't actually have that one on my list. So you did surprise me right off the bat. A very, very good. But I agree. I I've read a lot of dialog where you are, like, there has to be a point to this. There's a point to this right. There is please let there be a point to this and yeah, there was none. It could just be careful. They are indeed.
Jesper (15m 41s):
You mean? And I think, I can't remember which episode it was, but I do remember in the past that we've also talked about the fact that when you, as the writer put something on your face,
Autumn (15m 51s):
The reader will think, so
Jesper (15m 53s):
Is that this is here for an important reason. That's why I'm reading it. Otherwise you wouldn't be there. Right. And then if you have all this kind of talk about it. Yeah. It's really raining this morning and okay. Have a good day, see you later. And then they will,
Autumn (16m 4s):
Maybe that will be like, what was the part that you were really just, yeah. It makes me shake your head and you lose a little bit of love for the novel. So don't do that. That's that's a very good point. I'm impressed. All right. Thank you. So that's a good start for me then. And there was an American guy, but I don't know anyone's winning, but yes. Do you think you're doing great. All right. So my guess
Jesper (16m 28s):
It depends what I mean, if I surprised you or five times, then I'll say I'm winning, but if you're surprise me five times
Autumn (16m 35s):
Being score. Oh Hey, is that it does not sound fair. Who's making these rules. I don't not me. You know, even one of your kids, I think, you know, all right. So my number five is on expectations. I think it plays into the psychology and Author doubt, right? Or doubt so many authors, the new Author set expectations. So immensely high or vice versa. They said it's so incredibly low that they almost self sabotage. So it's, I think it's better to set a realistic that this is sort of hard work.
Autumn (17m 18s):
Book. One is hard. If you go into a book, one in love with it, but knowing this is going to be probably the hardest book you write and that you will get better and that it takes a series or several books to really learn the ropes and maybe feed all your hungry readers and gain a following. And then that's when you start making some waves, especially after you finished your first series. So I think very few brand new first time authors launch major careers with just one book. So I think I see those hopes and dreams that just writing this first one is going to be everything. And it really should be more like this is just a marathon.
Autumn (17m 60s):
This is just the stage one. And this is my learning curve. I knew of a very well known author who wants to joke that she was so glad she released her first book under a pen name, because then she could say that was not mine, but as you would prove so much. So that would be one of the Mistakes. I see so many new authors make that they just put too much pressure on themselves for a book won. Just write it. I learn from it. No you learned from it and don't make it an avalanche when it's just like a little puddle, right?
Jesper (18m 34s):
Hm. Yeah. Actually this morning I was listening to Joanna pen and you were saying how she was siting off another article, which I am sorry. I can't remember which one it was, but the point was that she had, she read my article in words, it was stated that The like breakaway novels, you know, in the past, sometimes people will write one novel and it would just take off. And the point of this article was that it's getting less and less frequent at that thing happens because we have this side of binge culture nowadays also, you know, the same thing with, with Netflix or HBO or whatever you are watching Hulu or whatever, you know, there's just, there's more a mentality or culture today where there was just a lot of options.
Jesper (19m 21s):
So you have a vast majority or, or, or, or a huge amount of stuff you can watch and, and you can see what you want to see. And, and, but it's not like one thing. And then every well, okay. So of course, sometimes there is a game of Thrones, so whatever, and then everybody we'll watch it. But in general, that's a very, very rare nowadays, you know, it's getting hot. If you're looking for, if you're setting your expectations for getting that lightning in a bottle, kind of normal, it it's not going to happen. I'm sorry. No,
Autumn (19m 54s):
Is that, it would be amazing if it did, but that's no way you should sell your hopes on. I've been really the best advices to do sort of what I'm doing. Now. You'd have to write all three books in a series before you release the first one, because then you can go back and write the first one again. So it's typically your fourth book that you've written in and it will be so much better and you will have learned so much and it will be so much better to release it and you can release the whole series. And you'll be that much further ahead because yeah. People like to finish things they like to binge. So just feed that and don't stress too much about book one,
Jesper (20m 31s):
Feed the monster to feed the monster. Yeah. Okay. So my next one here is a, it's pretty basic, pretty simple, to be honest and really quick, but it is important. Okay. And this one is about not including information in your Writing, you know, things like sound smells or what it feels like to touch the object that the character is holding and so on because this really helps to immerse the reader into the story. And you're writing just becomes much, much more engaging as a result. So when you are not including sensory information, that's really a tell tale of amateur.
Jesper (21m 10s):
Autumn (21m 11s):
That's very true. So I love that one too. And I don't have that one, even though it is definitely it's actually in the starter kit, that is one of the one's that is listening to their, it's a very good, but I didn't include it in this one, but I, yeah, that's, that's sorta definitely a passion of mine. And I find that even when I'm writing currently, every once in a while, I'm like, I'm on the visuals. I'm stuck on visuals. If, if someone glazes at one more thing that I'm going to do screen, so you would need to, I mean, sometimes that's what editing is for, but yeah. Do your best to use all five senses, at least once in a chapter as a pretty good way of, you know, working at your writing, looking at your editing, it's a good goal.
Autumn (21m 52s):
Try it. And it will be improved. You're writing so much and improve your descriptions. You won't be repeating yourself because if something smells and then you'd see it, and when you touch it, those are all different senses in different descriptions and it will just make everything feel so alive. So I really like that one. Very good job. Hey, you're not winning though. Just to be clear, you're not winning well, I'm not sure. I agree. It will settle
Jesper (22m 17s):
It in the end. It depends on the score. I was
Autumn (22m 20s):
Worried that I went with a tried and true that I think has been true for so many new Authors and it was a huge, I don't know if it's a learning curve or just a right of passage. And that is losing steam in the middle of your first book or the book you're writing. And either you give up on it and go to the internet and to go to Facebook or Instagram and say how stuck you are or are you pick up a new story instead of finishing the one you're writing. And so then you just keep you're constantly in forever and writing your first novel, cause you haven't finished one yet and you just have to buckle down. I hate to say it is, I don't know what to do.
Autumn (23m 0s):
Well, there are a way of putting it, but you have to buckle down and keep going and stick it out. And at least Finnish one and may be published it and it will be better if you do that. Don't get, don't get lost in the muddy middle. It's so many authors don't get past that one point.
Jesper (23m 18s):
Yup. And that's also very true as it was also a good one. Yeah.
Autumn (23m 22s):
You were just saying that. I just feel like you're just saying that to make me feel better, do you? No, no, no. It is a good one. Okay.
Jesper (23m 32s):
Yeah, no doubt about it. I was just trying to So when I'm on number three, right now, there are a number of three were in the middle one middle one. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. So I had a few examples on this one. Oh, excellent. I like
Autumn (23m 46s):
Jesper (23m 48s):
Yeah. So this is about using the same sentence construction over and over again. So if you are, for example, Writing something like he walk to the door, he opened the door, he entered the room. Well, when I say it out like this, as you can already see how bad that sound's right. But if instead that you vary your sentences, then it will come across as much more professional. As an, as an example, if I use the sensory information that we just talked about a moment ago with the same Sentences that the census says that I just made an example of here and it could be something like he walked through the door, the handle felt cold in the Palm of his hand.
Jesper (24m 33s):
As you turned it on a foul smell, forced his way into his nostrils. As soon as he opened the door, wasn't that much, much better.
Autumn (24m 41s):
It's a very nice, much better in a great example of your number, your previous one. And this one that was that since I'm a numbers guy, that's very good. I like that. And it's almost like you listened to our recent podcast on don't start sentences with this word. All right.
Jesper (25m 2s):
Yes. That's true. Yes. I didn't even think about that. But now that you say that, yes, that's right.
Autumn (25m 7s):
And a fantastic example for that Podcast so if anyone else wants to have a fun, go will listen to that one as well.
Jesper (25m 16s):
Yeah. I can't remember what number it was, but yeah. You could find it in the, in the feet. You could just scroll through it and find the one that said something about don't start a sentence with his word or something like that, right?
Autumn (25m 27s):
Yeah. I think it was cold. Yeah, exactly. And it was a fairly recent, so it was not like you're going to go back months. So it should be just, you know, eight episodes back for her the most. So that's right. Yes. I agree. We have you covered that recently. So that's a very good example. So my line again is different. I can't, but this is like the most non overlap we've ever had with one of those lists. I don't know what's going on. This is a strange, I'm worried. We were not on the same way, like for once what's going on. So I don't know. I, I think somebody cheated. It's like, yes, you saw my list somehow. And actually we just screenshare.
Autumn (26m 8s):
So you might have been, you might have seen my list and you were like, I'm changing them all. All right. So my middle one, my number three is not making Writing a habit. So, so many new authors you'll see them talking about waiting for inspiration. And it's like waiting for a lightening to strike. You really have to be writing it. Maybe not as a job, everyone says it's a job as a career. It doesn't have to be, it could be a hobby don't you wanna spend time doing your hobbies, whether it's cross-stitching or hiking or a stamp collecting. I don't know. What, what do people do for hobbies eye, right? So don't feel need to know, but even if it's a hobby, you should spend time doing it and you should love it.
Autumn (26m 52s):
And it is, you should want to learn more about it and investigate it and talk about it and be really passionate. You know, that's why you do it. That's what you do with hobbies. But I often see, you know, Authors, you know, these or wait for inspiration or, and when they're not waiting for inspiration, maybe they are hanging out in an Author group or hanging out in an Instagram and they are not really learning the craft. And that's not that that's really a strange way to treat a hobby. Something that you wanted to do, you should actually be a little more investigative and you should take it. It feels like I said, no, I don't have to say seriously, because that takes the fun out of it. And writing it should have some joy as much as passion. And, and there are of course, the days where it doesn't and you do get up at four 30 in the morning and they get your word count for the day.
Autumn (27m 32s):
So you can go help somebody else that you have scheduled and get some formatting done. You know, those kind of days everyone has, those are there, they happened, but there should be loving in it as well. And something that really gets you excited. And so, you know, treated at at least as something like that, at least as serious as something you're passionate about and learn more about it.
Jesper (27m 53s):
Yeah. It's probably sometimes a bit of a procrastination tool as well. You know, the, the, I don't know, I don't have the inspiration right now. I think it's, it's just also, I won't say all the time and always because I'm sure that some people have good reasons or whatever they do, but a certain In and a lot of instances, or at least let me put it like that. I think it also is an excuse and why people are making the excuse. I can not judge that's up to them, but maybe they have a good reason. But at the end of the day, you know, if, if you want to make something with your writing, you have to write. I mean, I think it's the end of the day, the truth
Autumn (28m 34s):
You want to procrastinate, don't procrastinate on Facebook or Instagram, go to procrastinate by reading an article on how to write better. That's at least useful procrastination. Yeah.
Jesper (28m 45s):
So to some extent, but at the same time, you only learn to write by writing. So yeah. But okay, good. One
Autumn (28m 53s):
Oh, thank you. Well that, I feel a little bit better than that.
Jesper (28m 59s):
Yeah. I can't press it too much because then you might think that we were, the score has even as an actor,
Autumn (29m 3s):
You know, I'm feeling like it might be a pretty, even neither of us bet on how much overlap on this one. So I've really got two more to go to find out, you know, when you have any of the wonderful, maybe the number one, I'm going to bet number of one, but maybe not. We'll see. We'll see. So far, I like all your answers though, that they are the WRITING coach and editor and me is going on, but you're still not winning. Even if you've won my writing coach and editor hat, you you're still not winning. So that's just the way it goes.
Jesper (29m 33s):
Autumn (29m 35s):
Well, we'll see, one sec. Okay.
Jesper (29m 38s):
So this is my number two, I guess. All right. So yeah, last week we talked about Author voice. So can you guess what I have as my number two of them,
Autumn (29m 51s):
Character development knows how to throw in a curve ball and nothing has been aligning today, so, okay. I'm fine. Author Voice
Jesper (30m 3s):
Yeah, it's about having too much. Author Voice Oh, interesting. Because I, I think the amateur writer can sometimes try to hot, to sound very professional. So as a consequence, they will start using too many analagist or a day too much ad, too much description and so on. And so on, you know, in an attempt to try to show off their creativity and, and the writing skills, it could also be maybe trying to much to sound like Tolkien or something like that. Or maybe another Fantasy Author that you are a door, but as a result, it just becomes too much.
Jesper (30m 43s):
So I'm just saying, don't write in a fashion that forces the reader to reread Sentences because it's so complicated. Then the structure, you know, the, the, the writing needs to flow smoothly and pleasantly, and not in a very abstract way that it's very difficult to get the meaning of what you're trying to say. So I think that's, yeah, that, that is a sign of an amateur writer. And, but of course, I also have to say, you can also turn this number two on its head and say, its also a problem not to have enough voice.
Autumn (31m 15s):
Jesper (31m 15s):
The writing fields is a very formal and stilted, that's not good either. So it becomes really difficult to a few close to the character's in that case. So yeah, it is like a fine balance to walk a fine, but you know, developing an author voice. Is that something we covered in last week's episode? So go back to listen to episode 97, if you haven't done so already and, and all the details will be shared there, but I think all of the voice is important in both in not having too much of it, but also not having to lose it.
Autumn (31m 48s):
Yes. It's its sort of like the, the, the quote, you know, kill your darlings, you know, keep it out the flower LA flowery language and things like that. But I do like this one Cause yeah. You're right. Because it was something I often see in maybe I don't know, I even thought of it. So jeez, you surprise me again, but yeah, often. Yeah, she sounded so satisfied with, with a guy who I am stumping her this time, but yeah, they'll Authors they often do you try to write to impress? Now here's a question for you that I think I, I would say kind of pose to me recently, but that's probably within the last year and a half, because I remember these things for some strange reason.
Autumn (32m 27s):
But what about, how do you feel about using words that like when I do an editing or spellcheck, I get this error that's like even a knowledgeable audience may not be familiar with the block. Do you think all language should be, you know, simple? Or can you use some complicated words that may be some people are going to have to go check out the dictionary for you?
Jesper (32m 53s):
I would say the only places where I feel it as okay to use very complicated language is if it's because of the character, if the character is just the type of person who uses a very complicated language, then it is absolutely OK to do it. But then you need to do it in a way where the fact that you don't understand what he's saying is part of the gimmick, right? So it's not like he's sharing very important plot detail that you need to understand. And then nobody gets it. That's not going to work. They wouldn't like to kind of know, but if its part of he's that's his court that he is a bit weird and he talks very complicated, then that's absolutely fine. But in all other cases, I will say no, the, the, the, the writing has to flow smoothly.
Jesper (33m 37s):
And so did you don't get pulled out of it and I'd have to go and look at the dictionary to just understand what you read. I mean, it has to be a pleasant experience and it's not in place. It's not pleasant. If, if you almost feel like stupid, because I don't understand what it says and probably I should understand, but I don't. Right. And then you feel stupid as a reader. That's right.
Autumn (33m 54s):
That is a good, I don't know. I still, I know as a teenager, I mean, I'm talking about like one word out of every 10 chapters maybe is a new and unfamiliar words. That might be an advanced grammar of a dance language. But I think that's why I have such a big vocabulary is because I read like a voracious teenage, the sorceress just picked up a ton of words and I still love using them. There's so much fun. Do you use words like avarice and things like that or that, or, you know, I could just use green, but avarice has a fun sound to it. And if I ever have this published as a, an audio book, that's a cool sounding word, but yeah.
Autumn (34m 36s):
And not everyone might not know that one right off the top of their head. No, but I don't know.
Jesper (34m 41s):
I still think it depends a bit on what you're writing. I mean, if we are talking literary fiction versus a commercial fiction, right. Because if its commercial fiction is suppose to just be enjoyable, it's not supposed to teach you a new vocabulary. Right. But literary fiction, it could, it could be much, you, you could use more of those kinds of works in that case. So it, it, it, I think it depends on what your writing of course, but I'm always talking about commercial fiction. So that sort of my bias,
Autumn (35m 10s):
Well, I get it. I did grow up. I'm a Mercedes Lackey and, and rice Or and McCaffrey and stuff like that. So I, you know, so you could do it. I could do it too. That's my theory. Yeah. I know. I know. I've read a lot of them.
Jesper (35m 23s):
Yeah. And rise too. I don't think she uses complicated words. And to be honest,
Autumn (35m 28s):
Probably because you were an educational system might be a little bit better than ours, but don't tell anyone. I said that I'm not going to talk more about that. I could move on. So moving on to my number two is not building an audience as your right. So waiting until you released book one and expecting that lightning in the bottle, as you cleverly use a metaphor for So. Yeah, no, you know, it's, you don't want to spend too much time building an audience because you wanted to. Right. As I said, and the previous one, but you definitely need to have a plan, whether it's building your newsletter or just hanging out in readers groups, you want people following you on your journey and getting excited about what you're writing so that when you release a book one, you know, you gotta, you got a platform and some people who are excited to celebrate with you, that's really important.
Autumn (36m 24s):
And I do see still a lot of fathers are getting better and a lot of the authors are getting very savvy, but there's still so many new authors who write in that cliched, tiny dark room. And then they are merged with a fully finished novel. And there started to find out the rest of the house was empty.
Jesper (36m 44s):
I think I've worked out why all of this are so different.
Autumn (36m 48s):
No. Yeah, yeah. 'cause my life.
Jesper (36m 51s):
This is very much focused on the Writing itself, where you are a bit more focused on the, the mechanics of the business of Writing and also the mindset of Writing. And I think that's right.
Autumn (37m 4s):
Yeah, no, that's good. And it's the same way as you shuffle these together, you're getting a very kind of complete list from the technique to the business of it. So I guess it makes sense. Yeah. I'm glad I didn't send you that email because I might've changed my answers. And then the listeners wouldn't have had such an interesting experience, right?
Jesper (37m 24s):
Yeah, no, no, that's good. And that definitely building an audience that show it that's hugely important and yeah, we've talked multiple, multiple times and past. Episode also one of the Am Writing, Fantasy a YouTube channel. There's multiple videos there as well about building email lists and why its important. So I don't think we need to labor that more here, but it is just so incredibly important. So we cannot be said enough.
Autumn (37m 47s):
Absolutely. All right. So we're on to the last two or three Oh one, I suppose the last one, one each day. So yeah. Are number one worst mistake and wondering, well, it's still bee. No overlap. I can imagine.
Jesper (38m 3s):
So I have a feeling it will now because I think maybe yeah, unless you are as a Writing related, then it, there will probably be, you know,
Autumn (38m 11s):
Or it might be, you know, let's see what yours is. Okay. So there was,
Jesper (38m 18s):
So what I have on my list is a head hopping. So this is when you are in one character's head, you know, seeing what that person sees and hears and their character, you get the character's thoughts and so on. And then a sentence later, we are in another character's head. I read a book quite recently that from time to time has a tendency to do head hopping. And I'll just tell you it's really jarring, jarring and really good.
Autumn (38m 45s):
So I mean,
Jesper (38m 48s):
Moving from one point of view, character to another, between chapters is absolutely fine. You know, I do it, Autumn do it with our Martin, do it. All right.
Autumn (38m 56s):
So yeah. It's nothing wrong with that. I like that crowd that you mentioned Yeah but yeah, no, I agree. Head hopping when it's literally see sometimes it's between sentences in a much less paragraphs. All right. It is definitely one of my pet peeves. I remember reading a book once where it was a character looking across at someone shaking at a picnic blanket. And then the next sentence was the person shaking out the picnic blanket. And I was like, what is going on? I was lost and confused. And I think I might've stopped the book right there. Or at least I started skimming in just all of it. It got any better. And I think eventually it settled into one character.
Autumn (39m 38s):
And even then that was confusing. It's like, why did you choose that one? And not the person over there? So yeah. That's yeah, it is a better one.
Jesper (39m 47s):
You really have to learn to master the point of view stuff, because same thing, you know, if something is happening behind the character, the character can see it. So you can't describe what, what it looks like behind him because him or her, because you, if the character can see it, you can not describe it. That's just It and you can't just have to another character who can't see it because that's convenient. That's not, that's not a hobby.
Autumn (40m 9s):
Yes. That's not. Okay. You know, you have to solve the problem for the character who is head you're in and not some other way.
Jesper (40m 16s):
Yeah. I mean, if you want to do a change to another character within the same chapter between chapters, it's easy because then we have, we have a break and everybody knows, okay, now it could be a new character. If you wanna do it in the middle of this chapter, you can do that as well. But then you need to put in something like a, maybe a graphical cymbal in between paragraphs or some sort of break that sort of shows the reader that, Oh, okay, there is a change here and then you can move into another that's okay. But still, I would say, I prefer to do it between chapters and not in the middle of the chapter, but if you have to do it, then at least put in something in the, on the page itself that clearly shows that something is changing.
Jesper (40m 55s):
Autumn (40m 56s):
Yeah. And some kind of transitional break lines or something, but yeah. And even that, you know, then it's not an excuse to have five of those on a chapter. I mean more than one story too much yet. So don't jump more than three characters on one chapter, but it's a better look, read some George R. Martin. He does a fantastic job of staying in one character's point of view for an entire chapter and they flow. So Well and you get to know who the character, if you have whop, you don't really get to know the character well enough to care. And that's part of what is so important about writing. So that has an excellent number of one. Yeah. And I also wanna just tack on to that, that I think that
Jesper (41m 37s):
You also need to be mindful that this is a sort of stuff that agent's will notice, you know, so if you are trying to get traditionally published and they will probably be, not offer you a contract, if they see head hopping in your manuscript very bad, or even if you are self publishing, it will take a lot of time for the edits that you can clean up this stuff. So maybe you are edited, you don't mind doing So, but it's going to be there.
Autumn (41m 57s):
They do a lot of money. So yeah, I think you just, you need to get this under control. Definitely a high concur. And I think if I was doing the writing techniques, that would be my number one, but I always focused on something different, even though this is sort of a Writing technique. So my number one is writing the story with absolutely no plan for your first book. And it just thinking you are going to tackle your way through it and get there and not taking the time and realizing there's so much to learn in their story structure and character arcs the character arcs titled the plot. And so that made me develop it later. But seriously, if there's ever a book, what are you become a full time pants or not?
Autumn (42m 39s):
If there was ever a book to have a plan, have a plan for your first book, it'll be a lot less painful.
Jesper (42m 47s):
Oh, I feel this one though, because this was exactly where I ended up. I kind of put it,
Autumn (42m 55s):
This is what it is a nod to both of us because it is how I started my first debut novel as well. I, I, I got the chapter three, then the characters got lost. I think my chapter five, I was last, the characters were lost and I said, we need to structure. And I got a structure and I learn very quickly from there. But yeah, I think that it might be how they talk about what is the 99% of the people who start off writing a novel fail. This was probably the first hurdle as an author. You hit that point where you were like, I don't know what happens. The inspiration drives up. You just, you know, the character stopped talking to you.
Autumn (43m 36s):
Whatever happens. I love that joke that, you know, brighter has served the, when the characters, the writers block is one of the character stopped in your head, stopped talking to you. So this is a Yeah, this is what all of that happens. And you need to find a plan to get through that and to learn, to write well and to write your story. And yeah, it's your first cutting. Our first tooth as an author is to get through that. So go for it, get a plan. Yeah. And I could say, maybe you want to go to bed
Jesper (44m 6s):
Or whatever online platform you normally buy your books on. And then maybe you want to search for either Autumn's name or my name. And then
Autumn (44m 15s):
Yeah. And maybe you buy that and then maybe everything will be explained to you. That will definitely help. I mean, it is the worst case scenario. Just go to the Am Writing Fantasy blog and put in the story structure and you'll get a couple of articles that will kind get you to get you started and get you started. And then you can realize that maybe you should get the plotting book, Cause it? It would help you so much when you start a book too. And you were like, Oh, this is what it was supposed to be doing it just so we have, we truly had a list of 10. We did not overlap that at all. Oh no. So this is a tough one. How do we conclude? Which is the worst of them all?
Autumn (44m 56s):
I don't know. Cause there are all going to hurt you in some way or another hurt are writing here at the hurt, the story or telling or hurt your author career. Or if you do these, I don't know which ones do we need an independent judge. Maybe the listener should tell us, which is the worst one that could help us out when we do need the emotional journey. That that will be cool to see if anybody wants to tell us. And please do. I think, I would say that you are number one day might be the worst One. And my thinking is that if you can finish the first book because you sort of screwed whole thing up by not planning anything, then it doesn't matter about small talk in the dialog or a sentence structures, or even building email lists on.
Autumn (45m 48s):
Because if you don't have anything and you are never going to finish it because you sort of drive into the ditch then than maybe all of the other nine items. Yeah. It doesn't really matter too much. I don't know how I like that. I'll go with that. I could accept that because that makes me feel like I won. So. Okay. That's true. Actually, a change that, and this has been recorded and I think I'm editing this one. So Nope. Not changing. It sorry. Do you want me to change? Sort of edit this one of the new editor next week. Episode no, no, no, no. I'm good. I can fit this one in this week. I'm good. Okay. Well listen to, can you please let us know that you disagree with this conclusion and, and then pick another one?
Autumn (46m 34s):
Please all right. So I will honor the listeners comments and we will see which one they think is the worst and then will choose the champion. I don't know what we get to know. Okay. So next Monday we are going to talk about the self publishing landscape is a two lane to get into self publishing. Well, tune in next one,
Narrator (46m 58s):
If you like what you just heard, there's a few things you can do to support The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast please tell a fellow Author about the show and visit us at Apple podcast and leave a rating and review. You can also join Autumn in Yesper on patrion.com/am Writing Fantasy for as little as a dollar a month. You'll get awesome rewards and keep The Am Writing Fantasy Podcast going to stay safe out there and see you next Monday.