One of the things I notice when reading unpublished and newly-published authors is what is affectionately called TSTL (too stupid to live).
It’s when a character does something so crushingly bad that it’s suprising that they can navigate around trees. Like leading the bad guys to their home, or doing something that will attract attention while they are supposed to be quiet and hidden.
Usually, these incidents are purely to move the plot forward and indicate the author’s poor planning, laziness, or lack of creativity. I know. That’s harsh. I mean for it to be. I am particularly passionate about writing. We are responsible for the reader’s enjoyment as they journey through the fictional world we have crafted. They put their faith in our skills to transport them into our story, and to care about our characters. We cannot fail them.
I hope you will let me know if my stories are successful for you. Sonja
Are you a plotter or a pantser? I’ve asked this question before, but it bears repeating.
A plotter (of which I am) know the direction of the story. A pantser writes and allows the story to unfold before them. I tried to be a pantser, but it’s not me. I like to know my mile markers when I write, otherwise, the story meanders and gets boring.
That doesn’t mean that I plot out every single moment. I do like my characters and the story to surprise me, but the plot has a goal. Take, for example, The Fairies of Carlow: The Gilding. I knew that Fern would become a Gilded, but I didn’t know about the Gilding event itself. The character and the plot told me she would be engulfed in a cloud of gold glitter and would transform.
That it was before all the students of her school just added to her angst.
Decide how you want to write your story and then follow through. You can’t publish what you haven’t written.