Posts

Showing posts from February, 2018

The Magic Ingredients of a Novel – Part 3

In this part, we’ll look at some more elements to incorporate into the novel to make it enjoyable enough for the reader to become fully immersed in the story, the kind of things that writers don’t always include, or they forget about, and the kind of things that agents and publishers look out for. Symbolism It’s something most writers don’t really think about, since it’s not especially at the forefront of their minds. But the thing about symbolism is that, if used correctly, it can give the reader so many more layers to pick through. Readers are keen to read between the lines, to seek out those hidden clues and interpret different meanings. They want more than just a story – they want what lies beneath. Symbolism is like a sign language – it’s used to illustrate to readers much more than mere words, and they are used to underpin the themes of the story. They can be overt or subtle, they can be colours, objects, actions...in fact symbols can be anything. Think of symbolic colours such as r…

The Magic Ingredients of a Novel – Part 2

Part 1 of the magic ingredients of a novel looked at things like plot, subplots, themes, conflict, emotion and characterisation – all common elements that are vital to any good story. This second part will look at six more crucial elements that authors should ensure are present within their novels if they want to impress agents and publishers and get that all-important acceptance – Viewpoint, Motivation, Setting, Background, Tone, Mood & Atmosphere and Foreshadowing. Viewpoint Viewpoint may not seem significant, but if it’s not consistent and done correctly, then it becomes a major issue.Do you tell the story from a third person’s perspective, or first person? Third person multiple is the most common, and is probably the best medium to work with, especially for a first time novel. The right viewpoint for the right story means the difference between producing the strongest effect for your writing rather the weakest, because if you choose the wrong viewpoint, and you’re not confident wi…

The Magic Ingredients of a Novel – Part 1

It’s hard to define what makes any novel work. It’s quitea subjective subject – what one person likes is what another person doesn’t, and what works for one agent/publisher may not work for another. Most often it’s down to the content of a novel that really counts. Writers can help their odds of an acceptance from agents and publishers by incorporating most of the “magic ingredients” that are found within a wide spectrum of successful novels, the kind of things we know have been tried and tested and we know they work. The more components you use, the better the chance of catching the agent or publisher’s eye and the stronger your story will be. So let’s start from the beginning, and look at the most important elements that agents and publishers are looking for. These are the things you’ll need to incorporate for a well written piece of fiction. Magic Ingredient Checklist
Story/Plot Subplots Themes Conflict Emotion Characterisation Viewpoint Motivation Setting Background Tone, mood & atmosphere F…

Dealing with Rejection – Part 3

In Parts 1 and 2, we looked at the reasons why work might be rejected and what to do if you receive one.In this last part, we’ll look at ways to avoid rejection and improve your chances of an acceptance. As writers, we can help ourselves in the submission process. If we don’t, then we only have ourselves to blame when things don’t go our way. There are a number of things you can do to help your chances of acceptance. By far the best way is to write a solid, quality novel that really engages the agent/publisher and it makes them sit up and take notice. Incredible Storytelling The ability to tell an exciting, coherent story that is well written and researched is rare. A lot of writers don’t take the time to learn the craft of fiction writing, and become pugnacious when they receive rejection after rejection because their work isn’t up to scratch. The ability to write doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years. The sooner writers understand this, the better. If you write a novel that has all t…