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Showing posts from March, 2018

The Importance if First Drafts

The first draft is the bare bones of a story. Whether you’ve done some planning or none, this first draft is probably the most important daft you’ll write – not because it lacks polished touches or finesse, confidence or the almost perfected editing. It’s because it represents the raw story and the building blocks of what is to come. Why are first drafts important? Well, no matter your experience or skill level, every writer starts at the beginning. And no one can write a perfect novel on the first attempt. This is why the first draft encapsulates all the ideas, the inspiration, the ramblings and wild tangents of writing a story, but it is essentially all about the story – sitting down and writing, just getting it out, in whatever order or semblance it comes, developing the ideas, getting to know the characters and experimenting with the plot. The first draft will always be awful. And that’s the point of the first draft. The rest of the writing process – the polishing and perfecting – c…

How DO you write? – Part 2

How you write is all down to how to construct your descriptive passages and how effective they are, which is why the advice to show rather than tell really does work. If you show the reader it means you involve them with senses, colour, visual imagery and provocative words. If you tell the reader, then they cannot become involved in any way. How to Approach Description The best way to approach it is not to be afraid of it. It’s a fundamental requirement, because without it, there is no story to ‘tell’. But the way to approach description is to understand the many functions it performs - it’s a way of involving the reader, it gives them necessary information, it helps them build up scenes and images in their mind with background and foreground detail and it helps to move the story forward. There are moments when the writer needs to describe something to enhance the scene and the flow of the story; without which the story fails. But description is isn’t about throwing everything at the re…

How DO you write? – Part 1

Every writer has a unique style of writing. The way a writer constructs a story is an individual thing, but how do you write? Do you focus more on the dialogue and less of the description? Do you put more into the characters than you do the story? Do you fill your pages will beautiful description and not much else? These are all examples of what writers do, without ever maintaining a balance. How you write is important. It’s the difference between the reader becoming fully immersed in the story and enjoying every page, to throwing it aside because it’s so terrible. It comes back to that word ‘balance’ again. The best stories always have a good balance of dialogue, narrative and description. But what makes some writing so amazing? The way a writer constructs his or her descriptions is what makes stories stand out. How you write is all about choosing the correct words to convey the story, in the right way that brings the scene to life and makes it easier for the reader to visualise and u…

The Magic Ingredients of a Novel – Part 4

In this last part of the things that writers can incorporate into novels to help them get noticed by agents and publishers, we’ll look at the last group of ingredients that should help this happen, the kind of things that enrich and enliven the story, those very things that lift the story from every page. Flashbacks Almost all novels have a flashback of some description. That’s because what has happened in the past always shapes the way our characters are in the present. This device allows the author to take the reader back to a previous time in a character’s life in order to show prior events/incidents that have a bearing on the present story. They are a great way to impart information, plant clues and explain character behaviours. They can be constructed however the author sees fit – i.e. they can be brief, long, obtrusive or so subtle that they’re hardly noticed. Include at least a couple of flashbacks to deepen the story. Pace Pace is something that agents and publishers actively look …