Top 5 Mistakes Authors Make – Mistake #4


Let's Talk Novels Podcast“Failure to write to reader
expectations for your genre.”

Solution: Let the reader know what kind of story
this will be in the first chapter.


In this episode I particularly enjoy telling the story about the priest’s funeral. It’s one of my favorites, not only because of the humor, but because it illustrates beautifully how to let the reader know what kind of story this is going to be, doesn’t it?

I have to tell you that I’m getting really excited about some of the future podcasts based on the suggestions I’m getting from so many of you.

Have you been finding the information in these BONUS PODCASTS and the SUBSCRIPTION PODCASTS informative and helpful? What have you found most useful so far?

Would you be so kind as to take a moment to tell me? Scroll down and tell me in the comment section.

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(If you would like to read The Rosary Murders, click on the sample above.)


  • A writer needs to know what readers of their genre expect in a novel. The best way to learn this is to read a lot of popular novels in your genre (romance, historical, thriller, suspense, sci-fi, fantasy, etc.).
  • Think of your first chapter as auditioning for readers in your genre. Show them that when it comes to writing stories in your genre, you GET IT.
  • Then, once you understand the basic expectations of your genre, personalize it with your own style.
  • The best way for me to describe style is this: If the cover of a novel were torn off the book and all you had to go on was story, would your readers know that you had written it?
  • Demonstrate in the first page and a half of Chapter 1 that you know what readers in your genre expect, and what kind of style the story is going to be.
  • When it comes to writing to genre expectations:
    • Read a lot of bestselling novels in that genre.
    • Write a lot of genre-specific stories.
    • Be yourself. Don’t try to write like someone else.
    • Your first page and a half should show your writing at its very best.
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