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Showing posts from February, 2011

Flashbacks

What is a flashback?

Flashback is one of those useful tools that a writer can use to enhance a story. It enriches and, in a sense, nourishes a story with information that the reader would otherwise not have known.

Flashbacks bring information from the past into the present to help the reader better understand a character or part of the story. In particular, it can enlighten the reader of your character’s life story by showing the character in an earlier time – anything from early childhood to an hour ago – in order to move the story forward. It’s a way of conveying information that isn’t relayed through ordinary narrative means, usually because it involves a back story. And because flashbacks deal with the past, they also provide an insight into a character’s motives, the very essence of who they are and how he or she acts and interacts with the world around them.

An appropriately placed flashback can do several things:

• Provide past information
• Move the story forward
• Prevent a …

Transitions

Transitions are a useful tool for any writer. They are commonly sentences and paragraphs that you use to let the reader know that there will be a change in the story, usually a change in time, a change of location or a change of the character viewpoint.

Transitions can take the form of sentences within paragraphs, or they can be physical scene breaks or chapter breaks.

Transitions in creative fiction are used in order to bridge from one scene to another, one chapter to another or more importantly, one period of time to another. They’re the logical connections that the reader follows. They work to keep your reader from losing their way within your story, or becoming bored. They are an important strategic tool in letting your reader know what is happening, without having to launch into several paragraphs or even pages to explain the minutiae between scenes and time.

Every story needs them. Without them, you’ll find your writing isn’t as smooth as you think. Lack of transitions will con…

How To Write A Novel - Part 4

The ending of your novel might prove more difficult than writing that middle section, because unlike the simple fairytale ‘they lived happily ever after’ scenario, endings involve much more than plain statements and happy ever after moments.

Unlike the hook of a first chapter, where you have to grab a reader’s attention, your last chapter might prove more troublesome because you have to hook the reader into buying your next book.

Getting the ending right is as important as getting the opening right, so think about the ending carefully. You might already have the ending in your head, which is fine, but you have to link it logically from your preceding chapters and ensure your ending fits properly with the overall story.

Endings rely on the preceding events in the novel to work effectively and therefore should develop naturally, rather than ploughing headlong into something that the reader might not be able to follow or even understand. Don’t engineer it so that the ending becomes co…

How To Write A Novel - Part 3

The dreaded middle section of the novel. The bit that sometimes makes would-be novelists give up entirely and take up gardening instead. The part after the amazing beginning and just before the satisfying ending has a habit of stalling many writers, because often they are not sure how to progress.

Once you’ve begun the novel, it’s daunting to sustain it for 25 chapters and this fear can cause problems later in the novel. The main thing to remember is that the novel will have a chronological flow. It’s your character’s journey from the beginning to the end.

The middle section is where most of the action will take place, slowly building up as you edge towards the climax of the story and it’s where the reader learns everything about the characters, the situation and what is driving the character to achieve his or her goal.

Motivation

The middle section of the novel is where the reader learns the motivation for your character’s struggle to solve his or her problems. The beginning of the …