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Showing posts from July, 2014

Finding the Motivation to Write

As writers, sometimes we don’t feel like writing. Often it seems our creativity has crawled off, our inspiration has gone on vacation and our brains just don’t want to bother. Our ‘mojo’ has done a runner. Some days, we just don’t want to write. This is completely normal. Writing isn’t just a hobby for some, it’s a disciplined form of art and it takes a great deal of commitment, time and hard work to do it, so it is no surprise that some of that discipline and commitment wavers and wobbles from time to time for various reasons. The thing to remember is that we writers are not robots, and sometimes, after a long day at work, writing is the last thing on our minds, especially if we have to sort the kids out, tidy up, do the dinner and feed the cat. Sometimes the mind and body are too tired. The motivation just isn’t there. Life in general gets in the way sometimes. There is just so much going on that you don’t have the time to dedicate to writing, or it seems that way, whether it’s a full …

Making Sure Your Plot Isn’t Predictable

If you’ve read a book and guessed what was coming, or if you’ve seen a movie and guessed the outcome way before it finishes, then it’s generally a sign that the plot is predictable. Perhaps you’ve read a book that seems quite similar to another book you’ve read. The same happens with movies; some feel very similar. That’s because their plots are similar, or the same. The only difference is the story is written lightly differently. But that’s the thing with plots; most of them are a variation on each other. They’re the same plots, or share the same plot points, but written in many different ways, and that’s because there are only 36 basic plots (as described by Georges Polti). Anything else really is just a variation on a theme. But the way we write our stories is what sets them apart from others. Whether there are only 10 basic plots or 36, every story you write should be different enough from all the other stories out there. That is down to how your structure your story, the characters …

Strategic Dialogue

What does it actually mean? There are quite a number of devices available to writers which help them enhance narrative and emphasis certain things within it. One of the ways writers do this is by placing strategic dialogue – this is dialogue that is repeated several times in the novel, like a message, a constant reminder for the reader, and is based on the main theme running through the story. It also appears at opportune moments in the narrative - hence the strategic placement. This is more commonly known as a motif. Motifs are recurring themes, ideas or elements that carry significant meaning and are always brought to the forefront by the writer at strategic moments in the story, to remind the reader of the importance of the theme. It works because it is subtle, almost subliminal, and forms an integral part of the overall message at the heart of the story. Some famous movies have used this method quite effectively – The Wizard of Oz uses the ‘there’s no place like home’ motif to push…

Does multi-genre writing really work?

This is a subject I get asked about all the time, especially from new writers anxious to write as much as possible in as many genres as possible, yet while many writers can and do write in different genres, and it’s not impossible, to step with ease from one kind to another isn’t as easy as it seems. It’s a well known fact that writers start out writing in the genre that they most enjoy reading, and certainly their earliest influences may drive this tendency. If you enjoy reading thrillers, it’s most likely you’ll write in that genre, because you enjoy it and understand it. If you enjoy reading romance fiction, then the likelihood is that you’ll feel comfortable writing romance. Of course, there are other things that influence writers. Watching certain genre of movies or TV shows that they enjoy may also influence a writer. A writer will always write in the genre they feel most affinity with, one that they feel comfortable working with; the one they enjoy.And because of this ease and aff…