Dos and Don'ts

I've made (and  continue to make) many mistakes when writing my novels.  I can't always see them when I'm writing, or even when I'm editing, but I can definitely see them when other people do them, and when I'm reading their novels.

And then I read books that I can't put down, no matter how late it is or how early I have to get up and take care of three kids, plus the twenty in my classroom.  The characters feel more real than the people I live with in real life.  I can only hopet that one day I can figure out how to do what they do when I'm typing the pages of my novels.

Because in the past several months I've read some incredible, amazing, and breathtaking novels.  Of course, I've also read some that I choked on and could barely finish, or left unread.

Here are some of the DOS and the DON'TS I came up with while reading these novels.  I hope to commit them to the memories of each and every fingertip so they recall them while typing all future words.

* Include steamy romance with a forbidden love interest.
* Include a comical friend to help the mc along the way.
* Include several hot spots to make the setting familiar and interesting and alive.
* Use humor to show me what the main character is like and looks like.
* Use metaphors and similes to make the world come alive.
* Reinvent an old favorite character trait or theme in a new, imaginative way.

* Include self-talk in italics more than twice.
* Include an overly sarcastic mc.
* Include boring, every day conversation.  No matter what.  No matter who with.  Delete every day pleasantries in all conversations.
* Include pages at the beginning to tell me the rules of the setting aka society.
* Spell out the personalities, likes and dislikes of the characters.
* String common, boring adjectives together to describe a character.
* Rely on cliches and use them in the same way three or ten other books have.
* Use language too formal and inappropriate (for teens).


* Then entire HUSH HUSH series by Becca Fitzpatrick.  I couldn't read the words fast enough, they were like air I needed to breathe to live.  These are my fave, fave, fave!

Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)


Romance was not part of Nora Grey's plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.---GOODREADS

* The ANEW trilogy (still waiting for the third book) by Chelsea Fine (also the author of Sophie and Carter).  I heart her and everything she writes.  I can't wait to see what she writes next!

Anew (The Archers of Avalon, #1)

Two years ago, Scarlet awoke in the forest alone, afraid, and unable to remember anything. Lost and confused, her life was a mystery...until she met a boy with a familiar voice. --GOODREADS

* CLOCKWORK ANGEL and CLOCKWORK PRINCE by Cassandra Clare.  I love that these include characters that are ancestors to the characters in the Mortal Instruments series.  The romance is unbelievable, and without any possible incest issues!  Love the historical and steampunk-y elements!

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)

Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos. ---GOODREADS

* UNEARTHLY trilogy (still waiting for the third book) by Cynthia Hand.  Oh my gosh, these books were so good, so refreshing, so romantic.  She turned me onto angel books, totally and completely.  She led me to the HUSH HUSH books.  Thankfully!

Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.---GOODREADS



  1. I have book three in the Hush Hush series and haven't read it yet (I have read the first two). I guess I had better get my act together since the final book is now out.

    Great list of dos and don'ts. :D

  2. ahh... a lot of those are series books that I need to check out. The Hush Hush books, and that Anew-Avow in particular.

    It sounds to me like you've got a great handle on the Dos and Don'ts, though! Happy writing! :o) <3

  3. These are very popular books and I have yet to read any of them. I started the Hush Hush series but something about the romance didn't sit well with me. I did enjoy the concept and world building a lot. Maybe I should give it another try?
    Thank you for stopping by my blog Christy.
    Happy Thanksgiving to the both of you. :)

  4. Thanks for the dos and don'ts! The only one on your list that I've read is Clockwork Angel, which I thought was great (and its sequel was even better!), but I've been very keen to read Anew for a while.

  5. Definitely a good list!! It's funny how picky we get about reading when we become writers. I am so selective about what I read these days. Of course, when I have a tiny window of time for reading, what with a career and kids and stuff, it has to really grab me or I won't read on! I love Mortal Instruments, too. Haven't read the Clockwork series yet.

  6. I haven't read any of these yet but I have Hush Hush. Sounds like I need to give it a shot!

  7. The characters feel more real than the people I live with in real life. I can only hopet that one day I can figure out how to do what they do when I'm typing the pages of my novels.

  8. knowledgeable book you have put here.These are very well known books and I have yet to study any of them. I began the Shush Hush sequence but something about the relationship didn't sit well with me. I did appreciate the idea and globe making a lot. Maybe I should perform another try?


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