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BellaOnline's Fiction Writing Editor

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Writing Problems

Problems that writers encounter with their stories.

Beware the Mary Sue Character star
The Mary Sue character reads like a too-perfect version of the author. With no faults, she has no depth or complexity, and therefore no story worth caring about. She drags down the strongest plot, but if you know her characteristics, you can transform her into someone real on the rewrite.

Coffee, Cigarettes, and Writer's Block star
A fresh cup of coffee is in front of you, your cigarette is burning, the laptop is open, and its blank screen is staring back at you. We've all been there. You are ready to write, but nothing, not even one word, pops into your head.

Creeping Blandness star
Articles in this subsection pertain to the writing problem of insufficient research which leads to creeping blandness that permeates one´s fiction.

Self-Indulgence Can Harm Your Writing star
There is a well-known writing tip that advises beginning writers to pick out their favorite passage, dialog, scene, or plotline in their novel – and to delete it. Your favorite material is not necessarily your best material, and it could be your worst.

What is Head Hopping? star
Head hopping is what the readers call it when the author jerks the perspective back and forth between two or more character viewpoints within a short span of text. Beware. Readers hate it!

What is Improbable Simultaneous Action star
Improbable simultaneous action happens when we writers describe our characters doing two or more actions that no one realistically could, or would want, to do at the same time.

What is Insta-Love? star
Insta-love, which is a mocking term for instant love, is a pitfall that happens in romance writing. New authors think, “What could be more romantic than love at first sight?” And they literally write characters that become united on a soul-deep level soon after meeting each other.

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