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Showing posts from March, 2017

Is It Better to Edit During Writing, Or At the End?

Every writer has a different way they approach writing. Some like to edit as they go, while others like to wait until that first draft is done before so much as changing a word. Since there are no hard and fast rules, best practice is usually the way to go. There are pros and cons for editing during writing or at the end of this process, but when it really comes down to it, many experienced writers choose the latter method, simply because the benefits far outweigh any negatives. Of course, it's down to each writer in the end. Editing During Writing How many writers stop what they’re doing and go back a few chapters to edit stuff? This might seem a great idea, but the stop-start nature of this process means that the narrative suffers because all the writer is doing is slowing down the writing process and making it painful and drawn out. By continually going back to edit, writers lose focus on what is important within the narrative they’re currently writing, so some things go off on a t…

Revealing Character Traits

There’s a lot to be said about character traits – they’re as individual as fingerprints and can be very revealing to your reader in ways that help them understand your characters on so many different levels. Your can use character traits to show the reader what your character is feeling, without having to directly tell them. By establishing character traits early on in the story – the earlier, the better – you can use them to show the reader at key moments how your character feels, the emotions he or she has and the thoughts they have in any given situation. Behaviour plays a big part in character traits – how we behave effects how others perceive us and react to us. Sometimes we act predictably, while at other times we do something that is considered “out of character”, depending on what is it we’re reacting to. The thing about character traits is that you don’t have to fling everything at the reader in one foul swoop. If you do that, you’ll have nothing else interesting to reveal to th…

How to Engage the Reader - Part 2

In part 1 we looked at various ways to engage the reader with your writing, such as using conflict, emotions, hooking the reader and vivid descriptions etc. There are, of course, several more ways to a writer can keep the reader hooked, aspects which writers are not always familiar with, or never utilise. So let’s look at some more. Tease and tantalise the reader at every opportunity.Readers love to second guess things.They love to try to figure out who the real bad guy is, or “whodunit”, or figure out whether certain characters can be trusted. Readers also love to be teased and tantalised with the promise of things to come further in the story, or revelations that could shock and decisions that could have dramatic effects. It’s the “what if” and “what happens next” that keeps the reader glued to the action. Never miss an opportunity to tease and tantalise. Pacing is crucial. It’s what fools the reader into thinking that things are racing along with excitement and exhilaration and acti…

How to Engage the Reader – Part 1

There are umpteen tricks and ways available to writers to engage the reader from the first page of the book, to the very last. That’s because there’s a vast arsenal of literary devices, tricks and strategies at the writer’s fingertips, but how a writer uses them is the real key to engaging the reader, and keeping them engaged. A book that works is a book that speaks to the reader, one that involves them on a psychological and emotional level, one that creates immediacy and empathy and makes the reader want to care enough about the characters that they feel almost real. Engaging the reader isn’t about standing on the sidelines and simply narrating or reporting that this or that happened. It’s about pouring your heart and soul into every word – that’s what draws the reader, that’s what fires their imagination and helps them identify with the characters and the story. Engaging the reader is all about involvement. So, what are the magic ways – those tricks, strategies and literary devices – …