Over-explanation. This includes prologues. “Prologues are never needed. You can usually throw them in the garbage. They’re usually put on as a patch.”
Too much data. “You’re trying to seduce your reader, not burden them,” Friedman said.
Over-writing, or “trying too hard.” “We think the more description we add, the more vivid it will be; but we don’t want to be distracted from the story” we open the book for.
Beginning the novel with an interior monologue or reflection. Usually this is written as the thoughts of a character who is sitting alone, musing and thinking back on a story. Just start with the story.
Beginning the novel with a flashback. Friedman isn’t entirely anti-flashback, but the novel’s opening page is the wrong place for one.
Beginning a novel with the “waking up sequence” of a character waking, getting out of bed, putting on slippers, heading for the kitchen and coffee…a cliche
Related cliche: beginning the novel with an alarm clock or a ringing phone
Starting out with an “ordinary day’s routine” for the main character
Beginning with “crisis moments” that aren’t unique: “When the doctor said ‘malignant,’ my life changed forever…” or “The day my father left us I was seven years old…”
Don’t start with a dialogue that doesn’t have any context. Building characterization through dialogue is okay anywhere else but there.
Starting with backstory, or “going back, then going forward.”
Info dump. More formally called “exposition.”
Character dump, which is four or more characters on the first page.
When people say “culture is meant to be shared” I’m literally like ???? Because that has literally never been the purpose of any culture. Culture is about identity, community and family. It’s about tradition. It is not and has never been about “sharing”.
I wanna watch you do everything you love to do. I want to witness the passion in your eyes when you talk about something you live for. I wanna witness the way you light up when you get to express yourself. Share all of it with me. Every short story, every poem, every brush stroke, run you learn, every lyric you write, every new dish you cook. I wanna hear, see and taste everything you have to offer.
at 6am when you’re waking to go to work, to school, or whatever road life takes you on, and when you didn’t sleep well, your hair is a mess, and your eyes are sleepy.
at 8am when we say goodbye for the day and you’re rushing out the door with a cup of tea and your car keys in the other hand.
at 5pm when you’re exhausted from the day and people have worn you out and you feel like crying, and falling asleep and escaping from everything. I will kiss your forehead, and wrap myself in your arms.
at 10pm when you’re heading to bed, even though you won’t sleep for hours. Especially when we become a human knot wrapped up in sheets and kisses.
at 3am when loneliness and sadness do not destroy you, but consume you and when you weep without an explanation, I’ll kiss your lips softly and tell you you’re the absolute best and that things will be better soon
I will love you when you grow old, and I will love you after that. I will love you if I’m no longer here. I will love you, I will love you, and I will love you.”—
Do you ever crave to be touched? Even in the most innocent way. I want someone to just hug me for a very long time or someone to lean against/ someone to lean on me. Maybe while sitting or laying next to someone just to have our legs, arms, or feet touching would be nice. I think that when you’re lonely for so long you constantly want to feel someone against you just as a constant reminder that you’re not alone.