Showing posts from February, 2012

Getting the Pace Right

Pace is like the heartbeat of your story - sometimes it’s steady and relaxed, sometimes it races at breakneck speed. Pace dictates the speed at which your reader moves through your story. Skilfully done, it can speed things up and slow them down with equal measure, all without the reader really noticing, so getting the pacing right really is a fine art. Do it correctly and it could heighten your reader’s experience, but if you get it wrong, your reader won’t want to read any further. Pace isn’t just about the rate at which your story is told, but it’s also a clever way of blending action, emotion and tension. And the way to achieve that is to choose the right words for the right scene. Pace is all about momentum – whether fast, slow or steady. Whichever way, your reader wants to feel that rate, to feel swept along or to feel a gentle lull. The idea is to vary that momentum, to move along steadily, then ramp up the action and pace, then slow things down to allow the reader to

Writing by numbers

Not unlike painting by numbers, writing by numbers - writing to special creative writing programs – is just one of the ways to help writers pen their bestselling blockbusters, but therein lies a problem, because many of these software programs often claim it’s a sure fire way to publication and success. The reality, however, can be quite different. Writing experience, and the quality of that writing gets you published, not a computer program.  It’s better to do the work yourself because you’ll feel much better about your accomplishments, and you’ll learn so much more about the writing processes. But does creative writing software actually work?  It can be useful to a degree – they provide an overview of novel writing methods and they help writers understand some of the writing processes. Their selling point is that they offer the framework for which to create your novel; however, not one of them will tell you how you apply some of the most important aspects when it comes to

Part 2 - Positive ways to emulate your favourite authors

As previously mentioned, our favourite authors play an important part in our development as writers, especially for those who are just starting out. Everyone is different; everyone has something different to offer. By reading different authors and genres, you will get a feel for the kind of writing that is established and successful, so by reflect on differing styles of writing helps us to nurture our own style of writing.  We’ve previously touched on the reasons why we shouldn’t copy other authors, but we can learn a great deal from them by finding and developing our own inspiration and creativity. Studying other writers allows us to see how they develop the structure of their stories. In other words, they show us how a balance of description, narrative and dialogue is used, how they bring in conflict and resolution, how they quicken and shorten the pace, how they draw out our emotions. It also allows us to see the voice of different writers – it could be soft and literary,

Emulate but don’t copy – Part 1

We all have favourite authors and poets. We all enjoy the way they create and weave their literary magic. They inspire us, motivate us and help us grow as writers; however, that’s where writers should draw a line because it’s easy when you start out fresh to writing to want to be just like your favourite authors, and that can lead to all sorts of problems.  The main drawback is that many writers tend to copy favourite authors thinking that this will bring published success. But is copying them such a bad thing? There are several problems with copying, or trying to be too much like the authors we admire. Here are some of the pitfalls: Lack of voice Lack of style Nothing is learned Their mistakes become your mistakes Bad writing habits Many new writers read the likes of Stephen King or JK Rowling or David Baldacci et al, and are immediately predisposed to that style of writing, they want to be like those writers, but they forget that for years, these authors have developed