Showing posts from June, 2014

Top Writing Tips

Sometimes there is so much to remember when we’re writing that it’s easy to forget some things, but all it takes is some quick and easy tips to give ourselves that little push to make sure we’ve covered all the necessary elements to write a good story. So, to make sure you don’t miss the obvious, here are some quick and easy writing tips:- 1. BANG! That’s your opening gambit. Or something very similar.   In other words, start your story at a pivotal moment in your character’s life, a moment of change, a moment of jeopardy, or even a bang; something that makes the reader instantly sit up and take notice. Don’t ever start a story with lots of backstory. That means the reader would have to wade through three of four pages of boring information before anything notable happens.   Your opening chapter, and your opening sentence, should grab the reader and throw them right into the action, right from the outset. 2. Tempt, Tease & Tantalise Sell the story like you mean it

Why Rejection is a Good Thing

There is nothing worse than a hard kick in the guts. That’s generally what rejection feels like. After working hard writing, drafting and editing your masterpiece, and especially after having the courage to submit it to an agent or publisher, you get the summary rejection.   And it does deflate you, no matter how experienced a writer you are. There is a misconception that rejections represent failure. But while rejections do hurt – we feel they do because we automatically interpret a rejection as a personal rejection, when in fact it is nothing of the sort – they should be treated as a positive rather than the epitome of failure. Firstly, rejections happen for many reasons, not just the obvious “my story must be rubbish, that’s why it was rejected”. For instance, there are other reasons:- Not right for the target market Agents/publishers are not taking on new authors for the moment Not what the agent/publisher is looking for right now Needs more work/editing on p

The Difference Between Narrative & Exposition

Every writer will know what narrative is, but how many understand what exposition is? It’s easy to think that both terms mean the same thing, but they are different, and writers should understand those differences when it comes to their writing. Not only do writers need to understand there are differences, but that exposition and narrative have different roles to play in story construction and they effect the pacing of the story. The easiest way to explain the difference is that narrative is a way for the writer to inform the reader with non-active description, a way of simply relaying non-essential information. In its broadest sense, the writer is ‘telling’ the reader, but that information doesn’t really move the story forward. For example, this is narrative: In the days leading up to Bobby’s death, Michael never gave a second thought to the safety of his horses. His complacency had become so ingrained that it was an invisible force. He should have paid attention, but in t

Creating Suspense & Atmosphere – Part 2

Last week we looked at creating suspense and expectation. This week we’ll look at atmosphere and how it works in relation to suspense in order to keep the reader on the edge of their seats. Firstly, atmosphere often refers to the mood and feeling that is created within the story. Sometimes it is subtle, sometimes it’s obvious.   But relaying it successfully depends entirely how well the writer conveys it. If done well, the writer will have created an emotional response from the reader. Without a reader’s emotional connection with characters, the ability to capture atmosphere will be lost. But what actually creates atmosphere? Several elements help the writer create a sense of atmosphere – description and imagery, senses and the setting. Used separately they are interesting elements, but used together they have the power to drag the reader right into the heart of the story. Description and Imagery Description helps the reader understand what is happening within the sto