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Showing posts from October, 2019

How To Get The Most From Your Opening Chapter

Every writer knows how important it is to make the opening chapter work. It’s the difference between enticing the reader, agent or publisher to read your story, or not doing grabbing their attention at all. There’s a lot of advice about openings, and a lot of pressure to get them right, but how do you define what is ‘right’? In truth there is no ‘right’ way, because every reader is different and every agent/publisher is different, however, no one would argue that writers should open their stories in an interesting, dynamic or riveting way. Something that entices, something that shocks, maybe. Or something that sparks their curiosity. So you see, while there is no right way, there are many other ways that collectively make it seem right, but one thing is sure – you may only have a few paragraphs to grab your reader’s attention and win them over. That’s because readers tend to glance at the cover and strapline, then they might browse the first few paragraphs or quickly skip-read through th…

How to Get the Most from Your Themes

Every story has a theme or two that cover the main topics within the story, but they also convey deeper meanings within it. Stories need them in order to help the reader understand the concept of the story. Themes embody different subjects that might surface during writing, so it’s common for writers to uncover these themes as they write, but there’s nothing wrong with having certain main themes in mind before you begin writing, either. Themes such as love, hate, betrayal, deceit and lies are all very popular themes, as are ones about growing up, discovering the world or growing old. They can incorporate just about anything, but they must relate directly to the story. How to make the most of your themes? Know your audience. The genre, and what the plot is, often determines a main theme. For example, with two lovers who can’t be together, the main theme would be love. For a story about conflict between the main characters, the main theme might be hatred or bigotry. A crime novel might hav…

How to Get the Most Out of Your Dialogue

Every writer understands the importance of dialogue – it conveys information for the reader, it hints at things, it reveals character, creates conflict and it moves the story forward, so to get the most out of it, writers must use dialogue wisely. The idea of dialogue isn’t just there for your characters to say something. They have to say something because it matters to the story and because it’s part of the story. And that’s why well written dialogue can entice the reader to become involved with the characters. Poorly written dialogue, however, can devalue the story because often what the characters say isn’t part of the story and doesn’t matter to the story, which is why writers should use every element of dialogue available. Make it effective. Make It to the Point Your characters are telling part of the story with their conversations. Your story relies on their input, but they have no time to chit chat about mundane stuff like the weather or next door’s roses. Dialogue doesn’t need pad…