Showing posts from January, 2014

The Art of Layering- Part 2

In part 1 of the Art of Layering – adding those descriptive elements – I used a narrative example to show how it works in order to provide the reader more than just flat story telling. If the narrative is to keep the reader’s interest and carry the story’s momentum, there has to be more.   Description needs depth. The description of key scenes always needs a little more than just straightforward telling. And readers want more than just a couple of lines of drab description. They want to rip back the words and peer right into the soul of the story. The art of layering gives them that. Writers don’t have to go overboard with description; too much can kill the narrative sometimes, but it is what is encompassed within the description that counts. Give readers background and foreground, give them colours and sounds, give them characterisation; let them connect to your characters – give them immediacy and emotion. But how much is too much?   Well, there is no right or wrong; it

The Art of Layering - Part 1

When we think of description, most writers think about simply describing a few elements for the reader during narration, such as a sound or whether it’s light or dark, but if you think of a story rather like an onion, you will see that it reveals many layers before it finally gets to the core. Fiction – or description – is very similar in the way it operates. Descriptive writing entails a number of elements to make it stand out, and layering is just one of them. The idea of layering within description is to show the reader there is more to just the surface of the story; that there is more information to glean from it – background, colours, noise, characters, atmosphere and so on. Description brings the narrative to life for the reader. They have nothing to go on but the strength of a writer’s words and therefore the writer has to allow the reader to visualise the scenes that are taking place, to become part of it, and the best way to do that is to make the narrative multi-la

Common Writing 'Myths'

There are plenty of myths surrounding fiction writing, the kind that stick in our minds and give us many of our misconceptions.     We’ve all experienced them, more so at the beginning of our writing careers, because many writers make the mistake of assuming that fame, untold riches and success will land at their feet. Unfortunately, this rarely happens, but if writers put in the hard work and they are willing to learn, then success is sure to follow.   So, what are the main writing myths?   Writers earn millions   This is one of the biggest misconceptions. The truth is that most writers don’t earn millions and they have an average 9 to 5 job to ensure a reliable income.   Writing, on the whole, won’t pay the rent. The few lucky ones that have caught an editor’s eye (and said editor thinks they can make lots of money) or the few writers that catch the zeitgeist and write something that is currently flavour or the month (i.e. Fifty Shades, Da Vinci Code et al). Tha

Writing Isn’t Easy

It’s a new year and it marks a fresh, enthusiastic start to writing, especially for new writers.   But for those beginners who think writing a novel is easy, then it is best to find out now rather than later that it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Firstly, let’s dispel a few myths so that every new writer is fundamentally aware of what lies ahead. Writing certainly isn’t easy – almost all writers will agree – and anyone who says different can’t be a true writer.   Every writer has a different skill level, so not everyone can write that well and not everyone has raw talent to do so. Fact: writing is a very lonely, hard and frustrating business. It often means hours, days, weeks and years concentrating on a novel that may never be published.   A writer might spend weeks writing a short story that may never find a home.   Not everything we write makes it into print.   That’s the nature of writing. Disappointment is often a staple diet of any writer – understand from the outset tha