The 7 DEADLY WRITING SINS

Due to the popularity of our Original Seven Deadly Sins of Novel Writing, we thought we’d do a reboot, listing all seven (plus a bonus sin—woot, more sinning!) all in one place.

You guys are the very best supporters and we thank you all for being so incredibly generous with your time by visiting us here. We hope you find this useful.

Happy writing!

sins

The 7 Deadly Sins of Novel Writing

SIN #1: Low Stakes

SIN # 2: Counterfeit Characters

SIN # 3: Missing the Mark on Voice & POV

SIN #4: Plot Snafus

SIN #5: Flat Wordsmithing

SIN #6: Dialogue Disaster

SIN #7: Too Much Information

BONUS SIN: Disappointing The Reader

So…what’s your cardinal sin? Or are you an equal-opportunity sinner? Let us know in the comments!

Image: PublicDomainPictures @ pixabay

About ANGELA ACKERMAN

Angela is an international speaker and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also enjoys dreaming up new tools and resources for One Stop For Writers, a library built to help writers elevate their storytelling.
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31 Responses to The 7 DEADLY WRITING SINS

  1. KV says:

    Hi Angela – I absolutely LOVE this list, thank you so much for the insights. Just a quick note – the link for Sin #5 is wrong. 🙂

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  3. Karen Lange says:

    Hope you both have a great break! Wishing you all the best with the move. Can’t wait till the new books are out! 🙂

  4. Loved your pictures today. Also congratulations on being translated into Korean–not you, but The Thesaurus!

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  7. Enjoy your time off! You both deserve it!

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  9. Moving can be awful, but it is sort of nice to clean out all that old stuff and start fresh. . . sort of. Best of luck with all you have to do!
    P.S. Wonderful pictures of you and Becca!!!

  10. Aw, thank you all! Looks like a few of us are on the move. I will share some pics of the new place once we’re all the way in, and I hope you guys will do the same!

    @Kathy, thank you so much for the kind words. They came at a time when I needed to hear them most (((HUGS)))!

    Angela

  11. Wishing you all the best with your move. I so understand. My move takes place June 14 & 15. Downsizing, so I am sure I will need to get rid of ALOT. I would love a vacation at this point and come home to busy little house guests scurrying around adding final touches to the move they made for me while I was away. It’s nice to dream, anyway.
    Just remember, this too will pass, and everyone will be back on track in no time, and you’ll wonder how you ever survived it. Congrats on the new and upcoming (and I can’t wait) books. I love your blog, your newsletters and your most helpful advice and I guarantee I was one of your first to purchase “The Emotion Thesaurus”and I refuse to pack it until the last thing before I go out the door.
    Love you guys and I appreciate your hard work.

  12. Carrie-Anne says:

    As a historical reader and writer, a major sin is anachronistic writing, esp. this horrid trend of Gossip Girl in period clothes (such as The Luxe or The Flappers series). I also hate the trend of unreliable narrators and alternating narrators/POV characters in lieu of the tried and true third-person omniscient.

    Another sin is horning into the narrative to repeatedly give away the ending and pivotal plot points (coughthebookthiefcough). That’s not foreshadowing or brilliance, that’s being obnoxious and ruining the story.

  13. Angela, good luck with the move! I hope you both find your blogging breaks very productive. I look forward to when the new thesauruses are released. : )

  14. Old Kitty says:

    Enjoy your bloggie break! Hope the move goes smoothly and hope Becca’s enjoying all the family goings on! Extra Mountain Dew for you both! Huge congratulations with your Korean version! That’s so exciting!

    My biggest writerly sin is procrastination! LOL! Take care
    x

  15. I’m just in the preparing stages for getting the house I’m in ready for sale, and then of course, they’ll be the hair-tearing, hunting for the “perfect” new home stage. Lol. Ugh, I dread the packing and unpacking to come!! Hope you survive!! I’ll mark my calendar for the Aug./Sept. release date. I couldn’t get the mailing list link to work for me, so if you could add me somehow, that’d be great!! Good luck to both of you ladies!!

  16. Rosi says:

    Wow. You really are busy! I guess my biggest sin is TMI. But it does give me something to cut.

  17. I swear I don’t know how you two juggle everything. Good luck with the move, and enjoy your well-deserved break.

    As for the sins? LOL! I’m more like a serial sinner than an equal opportunity one. I commit different sins in different manuscripts. Or even in different drafts of the same manuscript.

  18. Enjoy your break. Love the pictures! lol

  19. One of my biggest snafus has always been character motivation. I can write my characters consistently, but I always get stuck at some point and the story stalled out. Then I finally realized that it’s because I didn’t know what they wanted. Writing the Character Traits Thesaurus has been really helpful in solidifying the things i’ve learned the past few years about creating characters.

    Thanks for the support, everyone!

  20. Hi Angela and Becca,
    I’ll be sure to add my name to your mailing list. Can’t wait to get both books.
    Congratulations on the Korean translation!
    Enjoy your blogging break. 🙂
    Tracy

  21. All the very best for your move, Angela from Wendy across the pond x

  22. Thanks all! Moving is not so much fun, but luckily we have a month to do it, so that makes it not quite so rushed. I will be glad when were all settled, though!

    And if you recognize any of these sins, don’t feel bad! I wrote these posts because they have all been sins of mine at some point. A few I still struggle with from time to time. That’s the trouble with sons…they like to stick around!

    Happy weekend, all!

    Angela

  23. Sania Heba says:

    All the best for the move.
    *rushes of in a hurry to check out the posts*
    ;p

  24. Hope your move goes well. And so excited for all your great publishing news. Enjoy your break. I’ll be taking a short one the middle of June until early July. We all need those breaks sometimes.

  25. JeffO says:

    Enjoy your well-earned break!

  26. Marcia says:

    Happy blog break, and all best wishes with the move!

  27. Good luck with your move and Becca’s busy-ness! Moves are no fun, so you have my sympathy.

    And congratulations on all your success with your amazing thesauruses . . . thesauri (???). . . 🙂

  28. mshatch says:

    Sadly I must admit to plot snafus. Thankfully, my CP pointed it out 🙂

  29. Beth says:

    I’m editing right now, and I admit to finding most of these in one place or another! Hopefully most will be gone by the time the edit’s done.

  30. Best wishes n the move. Your site has been amazing. I love it! Congrats on your success.

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