SPA Girls Podcast – EP67 – Common Writing Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Wendy, Cheryl and Trudi talk through some common writing mistakes and give suggestions for how to avoid making them yourself.

Based around Jack Bickham’s book, The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes, we talk on topics from not making excuses, lecturing your readers, dropping alligators through the transom (don’t worry, we figure that one out), stopping too soon, giving up and not just sitting there.

Filled with some great advice this is another fabulous episode of the SPA Girls Podcast. 🙂

Don’t make excuses!

-We can all make excuses, and find reasons why we don’t want to do something.

Wendy is good at this, so she makes herself write everything daily in her diary. And she must tick everything off at the end of the day, and have a good reason why it’s not done, if she hasn’t completed her tasks.

-Get organized. Make lists of what needs to be done daily.

-Put the things you don’t want to do first, and do them when you sit down at your computer in the morning.

-Take if from Wendy, you’ll feel better when it’s done.

What about if your excuse is a good one?

-Break down your day into hours, and find some time to fit your writing in there. Even an hour, thirty minutes. FIND THE TIME!

-Be prepared for when you do have writing time. Get notes jotted down of what you want to write. Use your time well and efficiently, rather than steering at the screen blankly.

-Get up 30mins earlier to write.

-Train your family to know when is your writing time, they’ll get used to it!

 Don’t Duck Trouble

-Don’t write a nice story where everything is ‘happy ever after’ from the start with no conflict. BORING!

-You need your readers to emphasize with your characters. You can make them bad, but don’t make them unlovable, show the reader glimpses of vulnerability, and why they are like they are.

-Conflict does not mean add more fight scenes. We’re talking internal/external conflict that is there from the start and builds to a resolution.

Don’t Lecture Your Reader. Don’t Let Your Characters Lecture Your Readers.  Don’t Be a Windbag.

-Don’t dump a lot of information in a block that will put the reader to sleep. Feed it in verbally, or in small steps.

-Don’t lecture your readers in your books because you have a belief you want to share. Unless it’s important to the story leave it out.

-You are entertainers, so entertain!

-You only get one shot at hooking a reader, don’t ruin it by boring them to tears.

-Be topical but not preachy.

-Show don’t tell.

Don’t Ignore Professional Advice (don’t cut corners). Don’t Take It to The Club Meeting

-Make sure your product is the best it can be. Listen and learn to what resonates with you. Get it right from the start. You only get one chance to hook a reader, as we have constantly told you.

-Yes, you will get a lot of advice. Sift through it and use what works for you. People tell you to write, write, write. But if you publish substandard work, you will lose readers, not gain them. So find the rhythm and process that works for you.

-Pick you close writing friends closely, because not everyone will be on your side.

Don’t Stop to Soon. Don’t Give U., Don’t Just Sit There.

-Keep going, don’t stop at three chapters. The middle can be difficult, but persevere, and get that first draft down.

-To make it in this business, perseverance and determination are a must.

-Be proactive.

-Don’t be arrogant and think you know everything.

-Don’t just sit back when you publish your first book, because you think it’s the best book ever written. Chances are others won’t. Look at this as the long game, get on with your next masterpiece!

-Start making your career happen.


Transom meaning-

the flat surface forming the stern of a boat.
  • a horizontal beam reinforcing the stern of a boat.
  • a strengthening crossbar, in particular one set above a window or door.

Jack Bickham

SPA Girls

Author: SPA Girls

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