Bookish Posts · Writing

Blog Tour & Guest Post by Jillian Quinn: Clichés to Avoid When Starting a Novel


I am really excited to be the next stop on the Corrupt Me Blog Tour. I really enjoyed this book – you can check out my review here. Below is a special guest post from Jillian Quinn, the author. Jillian has written some tips about what to avoid when novel writing, which I will be referring to regularly when I finally get started 😊


Clichés to Avoid When Starting a Novel

Have you ever read a novel where the main character sounds like the next James Bond only for him to mysteriously vanish? Or maybe that character somehow manages to end up bludgeoned to death in an alley. If you are like me, then you start to secretly plot the second murder of that character in your head because you are so annoyed.

I made many mistakes when I started writing fiction, and now over two years later, I have three completed books and several others ready to publish in 2017. Some of the points I mention below I knew before I started writing my first draft because I doubt I’m alone in stating that I do not like to see some of these clichés in books.

Clichés to avoid when starting your novel

#1 False Starts

Don’t open your novel with a dream. When a book opens with an awesome action scene and the character wakes up to the alarm clock, this is a something that should be avoided as it does not serve any purpose other than annoy the reader.

#2 Too Much Narrative

I know we have all read a book that opens with ten pages straight of nothing but narrative, and our brains start to scream for dialogue. We get to know the characters through their words and actions, and when the author drags us along with a bunch of dense or boring prose that serves no purpose other than to fill us in on the back story or describe the setting of their fictional world, as readers, we all start to get a little bored.

#3 Opening With Dialogue

Have you ever read a book that opened with a long conversation between two or more people without being properly introduced to the characters? I attempted to read a popular romance novel a few months ago that had an entire chapter of dialogue that takes place between three people in a bar without the author explaining more than their name and basic details of their appearance. I had no idea what they were talking about or why I was supposed to care. I stopped reading after the first chapter.

#4 Slow Starts

Most of the time these slow starts have a lot to do with the author telling us things instead of showing us. Show don’t tell is one of the most important rules for an author to follow. Sadly, a lot of inexperienced writers go on about what someone ate for dinner last night or some mundane chore they did after work instead of “showing” the readers why their book is worth the time. Most readers will hang in there if they get a sense of the characters in the first few chapters, but when it’s full of useless dialogue or too much narrative, that creates a slow start that will most likely lead to the DNF pile for a lot of readers.

Thank you for having me on your blog. I hope everyone enjoyed reading this post, and that you check out Corrupt Me, a new adult romance novel about the Philadelphia Mafia.

Where to buy:

– Amazon (universal link)

– Barnes & Noble

– Kobo

– iBooks

Corrupt Me by Jillian Quinn on Goodreads



Stalker Links

Facebook | Twitter | Author Website | Goodreads Profile

Author Bio



2 thoughts on “Blog Tour & Guest Post by Jillian Quinn: Clichés to Avoid When Starting a Novel

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