Reading is like floating down a river, enjoying the view. So, don’t let your readers hit a snag.

By snag, I mean something that jolts the reader and makes them feel uncertain.

Here are three of the most common snags I notice in new authors’ writing.

  1. Not introducing a source. When you quote another author or expert, introduce them and provide your reader with their credentials. Don’t just write, Serena Williams says, … and then quote her. Explain who she is and why we should take any notice of her.
  2. Referring people out of your book. When you strike a big topic, you might be tempted to refer their readers to another book. Big snag. What if they will put down your book and never pick it up again? Précis as much of the other author’s topic as the reader needs. Then add that they may want to read further.
  3. Skipping definitions. You’ll notice I defined what I mean by snags in this post. If people already know what you mean, they will skip over it. But others will thank you and continue to float along.

Have you noticed any other snags that disrupt your enjoyment of a book?