what i learned from multiple writing failures

Hello everyone! Back in October of last year, I wrote a post talking about my 2 Horrible Attempts At Writing, and I realized that after not 2, but three failed attempts at writing a novel, I have learned literally nothing. So before I start plotting for Camp NaNo in July, I decided to figure this whole shabang out.

I will always find an excuse to slap a Harry Potter gif onto my posts :))

give your plot some depth

Anyone (just about) can come up with a plot, but can they come up with a plot. Most of my stories have had a storyline, but I had no plot twists, and it didn't all weave together. 

I had a ton of subplots, but none of them really found their way into the heart of the story. It was like a ponytail after a long day, the hairs are sticking out and aren't in the hairtie anymore. My goal is to form a plot that is smooth and pulled back, with all the hairs scenes tucked into place. I love my metaphors. 

give your characters a summary but also give them depth

Depth is a theme that I was missing. I formed cute little summaries about my characters but where was the development? All my characters were static except for my main character, and their backstories were vague vague vague. Even if they did have backstories, they didn't fall into the plot. (I see some hairs peeking out)

They should have a purpose. I added a character just to have a romantic interest for my main character, but that was completely unnecessary. The main character's life wasn't the focus, it was the problem that they both had. The romantic interest wasn't important, it didn't add to the plot. This is the third issue. (nice segway)

make sure everything is relevant!

Metaphor number two because we're reading this in English: in Romeo and Juliet (if you're familiar with the full story), Shakespeare doesn't give the reason for the Capulet/Montague feud, because it's not important. Don't include things that aren't important. 

If that blue house down the street doesn't have anything to do with the story, don't give a 2 paragraph detailed description of this. (strangely specific but I actually did this in my first NaNo story)

please, it should make sense.

Ok I'm about to call out my 10 year old self right now: a 16 year old living in a suburban town most likely does not have the money to own an underground lair full of weird devices, unless you explain it well, which I did not. IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. 

My entire plot revolved around that. *facepalm* I'll give myself some credit, I had a wild imagination. 

it's not always about completing

I want to make it perfectly that failure does not equal not completing. I did finish 2 out of 3 of those novels. But they were all failures. I failed to create a good story, therefore I was not successful. Even though I completed them.

However, it could be seen as a success because I learned a lot from those 3 stories. epiphanies.

What have you learned from writing? What do you consider a writing failure? SHARE YOUR STRUGGLES WITH ME, I HAVE ICE CREAM AND LOTS OF CARE. 

Thanks for reading,


  1. I have learned that writing is hard and that you have to think about everything that you are writing.

    Nabila // Hot Town Cool Girl


    Please forgive me for that but it's just that this is like amazingly hilarious mostly because I'm like this too. Except my problem is is that mine are never complete yet so good (which leaves a lot of people wanting to kill me Lol :P)

    -Dani Jones

  3. These. Are. SUCH. Good. Tips. Like wow. I mean it- I'm totally gonna take your advice.


  4. The third one is definitely the best tip. Sometimes it's easy to get carried away and add unnecessary details.

  5. Oh, how relatable all of this is.

    First of all, I want to say good for you for completing those novels! Crap stories or not, that's still an impressive achievement to be proud of. I am so bad with plots - it's terrible. I overthink to the point of not being able to actually think up anything (it's all a blank), and when I do get something out, it's shallow. It has no real purpose, and therefore no effect. Same thing with character backstory. Just takes practice, I guess, though.. Lots of practice and reflection.

    Good luck with Camp NaNo! :)

  6. Hey Noor!
    These tips will be helpful as I am writing a novel. I suggest asking your family members(in my case, I asked my brother) for ideas on your plot. You'll be surprised to see how much imagination and thought youngsters have inside their creative little brains, and then you'll be able to write the story!


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