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Showing posts from 2015

The Essential Fiction Writing Checklist - Part 1

As 2015 draws to a close, what better way to round off the year than with something that every writer should keep close at hand as a reminder for their writing? The Essential Fiction Writing Checklist is a list of useful prompts and reminders that even experienced writers sometimes forget. That’s because we become so wrapped up with our writing that we are all capable of forgetting the simplest things from time to time. This list covers those essential elements that sometimes slip through the net. It will help you when you come to revise your drafts and edit your work, and hopefully make everyone better writers. In Part 1 we’ll kick off the list and Part 2 will appear in January 2016. The Checklist: Begin to/Decide to/Going to Here’s one of those peculiar instances in fiction of what seems right, but isn’t. Don't have characters ‘begin to’ do things. In real life, we don’t actually begin to do anything, we just do it. Fiction is no different, so have your characters take direct action. …

Backstory – How to Do It

Authors often mention backstory when discussing their novels, but what exactly is backstory and how important is it in novel writing?

Backstory (or background story) refers to the background history of your main characters, and that may include incidents from the past that underpin the narrative of the present story. Back story usually involves the protagonist and antagonist, while there are some writers who include one or two other important characters with backstory, who may share a sub plot.
How important is it? Why use it?
It’s a useful literary device to support the plot and help with characterisation, however, it’s not set in stone that authors must use it, because they don’t have to. It’s a choice. Many famous authors didn’t use it, such as Hemingway, but those who do want to include it can provide meat on the bones of their story.
On the positive side, it gives something more for the reader other than just basic characterisation - it gives them a history, it provides character mo…

The Advantages of Using Suspense

We’ve looked at suspense and how to create it in past articles; however, in this article we’ll look at why writers should take advantage of this useful tool and seek to use it at every available opportunity.
Writers understand what suspense and atmosphere is, but very few understand the significanceof this literary device, which is why many self-published novels have zero atmosphere or suspense. Writers sometimes don’t pay enough attention to these elements and the result can be an awful, lacklustre read.
Why use suspense?
Readers rely on and interpret descriptive stimulus to help them understand the nature of what they’re reading. They need to feel empathy with your characters, to feel close to the anticipation or expectation within the story, to feel fear, concern or other emotions. They want to feel impending danger, become embroiled in action. They want to feel the escalating tension until right to the end. In simple terms, readers love drama.
We often associate suspense with atmosph…

Creating Tone in Your Writing

How often do writers think about tone? Not that often. That’s probably because writers rarely think about what it is or know how to use it.
So what exactly is tone? And how can it be used in fiction writing?
When we talk abouttone, it means the overall manner or attitude that the writer has toward the subject of the novel and the way it is approached. It can also cover the themes in a novel. Writers like to set the tone from the outset, and if you read your favourite authors, you will notice tone in their work.
Tone can take on many forms – it can be subtle, overt, serious, sad, amusing, chilling, atmospheric, or anything you want it to be, and very often such tones also reflect the themes that run through the novel and in fact tone is not that different to tone of voice – it’s the pitch or resonance of how we say things, rather than what we actually say.Tone in writing is no different – it’s how you write, and the words you choose, rather than what you actually say that helps you expres…