The Danger of Putting TOO much in Your Novel

The number one reason many beginning writers do NOT finish their first novel is because they try to cram every thought and idea they’ve had over the months and even years they’ve been working on the basic idea. As with any skill that you want to do well, you need to take the time to learn the rules of the road.

There are definitely rules for writing – both the short story and novels. One of the most important – Do NOT overwhelm your readers.

How could you do that?

Your book or story could have TOO many characters. Your reader wants to be able to identify with your MC, and if they’re appear to be too many important roles in your book, it leads to reader confusion.

So, learn to build your storyline around FOUR main characters with special emphasis on your MC – or Protagonist. It is important for your reader to be able to identify with them.

Another aspect of your storyline could be TOO many settings. When you create the world where your characters live, it is important for your readers to be comfortable. If you are constantly interrupting the flow of the story to describe a new setting, your readers will once again be confused.

The basic rule about settings is that you need to introduce them within the first quarter of the book. They should also be limited to the worlds of the four main characters.

Real problems arise when you have TOO many plots. Readers will get lost if you have too many storylines within your book. The general rule of thumb is to have one main plot and one or two subplots.

Feeling confined and restricted? Remember that this isn’t the only book you will write. Save some of those other plots for subsequent novels – OR even a sequel.

Happy Writing!

Until next time,

~Mustang Patty~

Published by Mustang Patty

I am finally a full-time author, who writes legal thrillers, how-to- books, short stories, flash fiction, a tiny bit of poetry, and Blog posts. My published works include 'Guilty until Proven Innocent,' 'Innocent for the Moment,' and 'Moment by Moment.' This is a trilogy called the Jill Adair Series. Additionally, I've written a collection of short stories about my dogs, Howie and Bernie - with a 2nd Collection coming in late 2021. I'm also coordinating an Anthology of Short Stories called, '2021 Indie Authors Short Story Anthology.' This book will be available on on August 1st of 2021. (The 2020 Indie Authors Short Story Anthology is currently available on - the collection includes 30 stories, written by 18 different Authors from three continents.) I am married to my wonderful hubby of over 37 years, and I have two grown children, named Heather and Gregory. I've been blessed with two beautiful grandbabies, Heather Rose and Logan Ernest.

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