I’ve been teaching a class on how to write your first novel and it was interesting to me how many people were making the same mistakes. Mistakes I had also made when I started writing. After thinking about it for a short time, I figured out why this was happening.
I started writing novels later in life, as did my students. We were very familiar with books we had enjoyed reading when we were in our teens and early 20’s. Well, most of those books were read 30, 40, and 50 years ago. This meant that some of the books had been written 20, 30 and 40 years before that. Some of the books we loved and remembered were almost 100 years old! YIKES!
So, when we began to write, we automatically reverted to writing in a style that had disappeared many years before. We included foreshadowing, author intrusion, no deep point of view, etc.
I love teaching these classes. Seeing the excitement on my students faces makes me eager to get home and work on my book in progress. I hope I’m giving something of value to my students because they certainly are doing that for me!