13 Common Errors That Most Authors Make

If you’re an author, I’m sure you’ve heard that there are writing rules. This is generally true. There are a lot of rules that all authors should follow when they write but not all of them. 

I’d say most authors have their unique way of writing that works well for them. But when it comes to these common errors, there are still some things we should all try to avoid doing to make our work better and more enjoyable for readers:

7 Common Mistakes New Writers Make – YouTube
1. Avoiding common errors can elevate your writing skills.
2. Proofreading is crucial to catch grammar and spelling mistakes.
3. Consistency in tone and style enhances readability.
4. Clarity and concise language improve communication.
5. Varying vocabulary prevents repetitive language.
6. Proper grammar and punctuation lend credibility.
7. Seeking feedback can help identify areas for improvement.
8. Practice and continuous learning refine your writing.

Choppy Sentences

When you’re writing a sentence, it’s important to keep in mind the different ways that two independent clauses can be separated. Here are some options:

Use a comma and a conjunction (and, but, or)

Use a semicolon followed by a conjunction

Use a colon followed by an explanation (introduced with “that,” “which,” or “who”)

You can also separate two independent clauses with dashes or commas before and after each clause if they’re short enough that it’s not necessary to use another punctuation mark.

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Too Many Exclamation Points

They are called exclamation points for a reason. Too many of them will make your reader feel like you’re yelling at them, and nobody likes being yelled at.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you can rephrase the sentence so that it no longer contains an exclamation point, go ahead and do so. If that’s not possible and there is no way to leave out the exclamation point without making the sentence confusing or unclear, then keep it in (and just remember not to go overboard!).

There are plenty of places where you can use exclamation points in your writing without feeling like they’re inappropriate for example:

“Everyone loved this book!” – okay! This is pretty straightforward; there’s nothing wrong with saying how much other people liked your book! It feels natural because it’s true; we all know what happened when someone read our work for the first time they either loved it or hated it! 

If I say “Everyone loved this book!”, then I’m stating something factual about reality: either everyone did love my book or something went wrong in my world and everyone hates me now… which would be weird but also maybe worth investigating. 

Do you see what I mean? This isn’t some sort of exaggeration on my part it’s just reporting facts as seen from my perspective! Perfectly fine usage here!


Typos are a serious error that is often overlooked. It’s easy to get so immersed in your work that you overlook a small typo or two, but these errors can make the reader think you don’t care about your work.

There are two kinds of typos: common ones and uncommon ones. Common typos include using “their” instead of “there” or vice versa, mixing up “therefore” and “wherefore,” forgetting commas when writing dialogue tags (such as said), and misspelling words like “errands.” 

These are all easily avoidable by proofreading your work but if you feel like this task is too overwhelming for yourself, ask someone else to do it for you. They’ll be able to catch more mistakes than anyone else could!

The second type of typo is called an uncommon error; these are mistakes that only happen when certain words are spelled with letters in particular orders, for example, writing “it’s” instead of “its.” 

This kind of mistake is difficult even for experienced writers because they don’t always see these errors while they’re writing down their ideas; therefore they may not realize what they’ve done until after publishing their books online or printing them out on paper at home (which will cost money).

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Unnecessary Words

Every word you use should be intentional. If you find yourself writing long sentences, it’s probably because you’re trying to do too much with them or are using unnecessary words.

Be concise. Vary your sentence length throughout your writing so that some sentences are short and others are longer; however, always use the shortest possible way of expressing something when it comes to both active voice and passive voice (see below).

Use Active Voice: “The Woman Saw Her Dog” Instead Of “The Dog Was Seen By The Woman”

Avoid passive voice: “The dog was stolen by someone last night” instead of “Someone stole my dog last night! It was horrible! I hope they get caught soon…” See how much more powerful active voice is than passive voice? 

When in doubt, always choose active over passive unless there’s a good reason not to and there usually isn’t! Some examples include avoiding time-sensitive expressions like “will be” (using “going to”) or avoiding reversals where possible (“I did not say that!”). 

To make things easier for yourself, try typing out each sentence without spaces between its words first–this will help catch unnecessary ones faster than scanning for entire phrases could ever do alone.

Overuse Of Adjectives And Adverbs

Adjectives are words that describe nouns, such as in the following sentence: “The apple was round.” Adverbs are words that describe verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. You can make an adverb stronger by adding –ly to it. For example, if you want to say how fast something is going (the speed), you would say “fast” or “quickly.”

Adverbs generally should be used sparingly because they tend to weaken the impact of your writing by taking away from the power of your verbs and adjectives. For example:

“He walked slowly down the street.” This sentence uses two adverbs (slowly and down). In addition, there is no reason why this information needs to be stated; we already know that he is walking down a street! So instead try saying: “He strolled idly into town” or even just “Strolling with his head held high.”

Using too many adverbs also weakens dialogue because it sounds like characters are being overly dramatic when they speak about what they want/feel/do etc., which makes them seem less real than if we just hear them talk normally without overusing any particular word

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Slang is one of those things that can be fun to use in a story, but it also has its drawbacks. Slang is often meant to sound informal and cool, but it may not come across that way if you’re writing for an international audience or a professional publication. 

Different countries have different slang words, so what’s popular in the U.S. might not make sense elsewhere; similarly, professional publications tend to shy away from slang because it could confuse readers who don’t know what you’re talking about.

The best way to determine whether using slang is appropriate for your audience is to think about who will be reading your work and how much they’ll understand what you’ve written without having some knowledge about modern culture or your field of study (for example, doctors may need more medical-related jargon than laypeople do).


Wordiness is a common problem in writing. It’s easy to get caught up in the art of writing and forget that you need to be concise. If your sentences are too wordy, they will be longer and harder to read. They may also be hard for your readers to understand.

The best way to avoid wordiness is by cutting down on the unnecessary words in each sentence (and elsewhere) without losing any meaning or clarity of thought. With some practice, it’s possible for anyone who writes regularly even if they’re not a grammar expert—to become more efficient at using fewer words better!

Weak Use Of Dialogue Tags

Weak use of dialogue tags is a common error that many authors make. When words such as “said” are used as dialogue tags, it can make the reader feel like they are reading a script. Instead, the author should use something more specific and descriptive to show the reader what the character is doing or feeling when talking. For example:

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“I Hate You,” She Said With Disgust In Her Voice

This sentence tells us that she was disgusted; however, we don’t know how this strong emotion came across until we get into context. In this case, it could be because he just spilled coffee on her new white shirt or maybe he forgot their anniversary again! If you want to add depth to your characters’ personalities and emotions, start using more descriptive words other than ‘said’!

Head hopping from one person’s view to another’s without introducing the character whose point of view you are using in that chapter or scene.

Head hopping from one person’s view to another’s without introducing the character whose point of view you are using in that chapter or scene.

It can be confusing for your reader if the POV of a scene suddenly shifts from one character to another without any warning. And it’s even worse when you do this within paragraphs, sentences, or even paragraphs! For example, you say “I woke up” then switch to “He was happy” and then back again with no indication that it has changed at all.

The best way around this is by using an asterisk (*) before each paragraph break indicating which character is talking. If multiple characters in your story are speaking together in a group setting then start each new speaker with only one asterisk so readers know where they’re supposed to look at first glance (they will always go from left to right).

Beginning A Sentence With ‘and’ Or ‘but’

There are a few different ways you can fix this error:

Shorten the sentence. It is much easier to read shorter sentences. You could also use simpler words, such as “but” or “although” instead of more complex ones like “however”, which makes it easier for readers to understand what you’re trying to say.

Move the second half of your sentence up so that it comes first. This will make your writing easier for both you and your reader since it forces them to focus on what is important first and then move down into details (and not vice versa). 

If they still don’t understand something after reading everything else then go back up again until they do you want people who read through everything without getting lost a long way!

Telling The Reader What They See Rather Than Showing Them

When you’re writing a story, it’s important to remember that your job is to SHOW the reader what happens rather than TELL them. 

In other words, don’t say “she felt horrible” and expect the reader to believe that she was feeling horrible; instead, use sensory details (her heart was racing and her stomach turned) so that they can see how she feels for themselves.

Using action verbs will help keep your prose moving forward along with those sensory details. You can also use adverbs sparingly since they often slow down a sentence without adding much information (e.g., “the girl ran quickly toward the exit”). 

You can add more detail by using simile and metaphor: “She ran like an Olympic sprinter.” And don’t forget personification! It’s when you give inanimate objects human characteristics (“the door creaked open slowly”), helping readers visualize the scene even better than before. 

And finally, if all else fails use dialogue! Dialogue is great because it makes clear who is speaking at any given moment while also moving along the plot at breakneck speed!

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Using Futuristic Phrases Such As ‘he Texted’ Or ‘she Tweeted’

It’s easy to forget that many readers will not be familiar with the technology you’re describing in your story. The best way to avoid this is to use “texted” or “tweeted” in dialogue tags where appropriate, but don’t go overboard with them. 

If you are writing a futuristic novel that doesn’t take place in our timeline, then it’s okay if the characters use futuristic phrases all the time, after all, they’re from another time! This can also work for sci-fi and fantasy stories where strange technologies are part of their worldbuilding.

Avoid using these kinds of phrases within narrative because they break up readers’ immersion in your story world by reminding them that what they’re reading is fiction instead of real life. It also takes too much time away from other important information in paragraphs (like who said what).

For most standard dialogues, stick with “said” as your main dialogue tag unless there’s a specific reason why not (e.g., someone has an accent or speech impediment). 

Other common words like “panted,” “whined,” etc., should only be used sparingly if at all (unless your character is panting heavily due to exertion). 

When writing such things into dialogues often leads me down memory lane back when I was fifteen years old playing Final Fantasy IX while watching cartoons on Saturday mornings before school started again after summer vacation ended…


The most important thing to remember with your writing is that you’re not going to get everything right the first time, or even the second. It takes time and practice! You’ll learn from your mistakes and eventually find yourself on the path toward becoming a better writer.

Further Reading

Expand your knowledge on common writing mistakes and enhance your writing skills with these valuable resources:

Avoid These Thirteen Common Writing Mistakes Explore a comprehensive list of writing mistakes to avoid, helping you refine your writing style and produce more polished content.

Most Common Writing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Delve into this guide to understand the most prevalent writing mistakes and gain insights into effective techniques for sidestepping them.

Top 20 Errors in Undergraduate Writing Stanford University offers a resourceful guide highlighting the top writing errors commonly found in undergraduate work, providing tips for improvement.


What are some common writing mistakes to watch out for?

Common writing mistakes include grammar errors, poor sentence structure, inconsistent tone, and lack of clarity. Addressing these issues can significantly enhance your writing.

How can I avoid repetitive language in my writing?

To prevent redundancy, utilize synonyms and vary your vocabulary. Proofreading your work can also help you identify repetitive phrases and replace them with more diverse expressions.

What strategies can I use to improve my grammar and punctuation?

Practicing grammar exercises, utilizing grammar-checking tools, and reading extensively can all contribute to improving your grammar and punctuation skills.

How do I maintain a consistent writing style throughout my content?

Establishing a clear writing style involves defining your target audience, determining the appropriate tone, and adhering to consistent formatting and language choices.

What are some effective ways to edit and revise my writing?

Give your writing a fresh perspective by taking breaks between writing and editing sessions. Reading your work aloud and seeking feedback from others can also help you identify areas for improvement.