Showing posts from November, 2015

Creating Tone in Your Writing

How often do writers think about tone? Not that often. That’s probably because writers rarely think about what it is or know how to use it. So what exactly is tone? And how can it be used in fiction writing? When we talk about tone , it means the overall manner or attitude that the writer has toward the subject of the novel and the way it is approached. It can also cover the themes in a novel. Writers like to set the tone from the outset, and if you read your favourite authors, you will notice tone in their work. Tone can take on many forms – it can be subtle, overt, serious, sad, amusing, chilling, atmospheric, or anything you want it to be, and very often such tones also reflect the themes that run through the novel and in fact tone is not that different to tone of voice – it’s the pitch or resonance of how we say things, rather than what we actually say.   Tone in writing is no different – it’s how you write, and the words you choose, rather than what you actually s

How to Write Effective Description - Part 2

In part 1, we looked at the kinds of details that make description effective – the sensory, visual and emotional details, however, good description is also about the words you choose and the way they fit into a scene. It’s about the way they sound, the sibilance they create, which produces the overall effect you want to achieve. It’s all about detail. The words you choose and the way you construct the sentences are what really makes description work. The right choice of words makes the entire scene feel very different. That’s because the right amount of description coupled with the right selection of words make a big difference when trying to transport the reader to the fictional world you’ve created, to get them to imagine the details being described.   Word Choice Not all scenes are the same, of course, so your description should reflect this. Think about the scene you are writing – is it tense or atmospheric, is it gentle or romantic, or is it action-packed?   The words

How to Write Effective Description - Part 1

It’s one of those questions writers think about all the time. How do you actually make description effective? And how do you know that it’s effective? Can it be defined? Firstly, description is the thing that brings any story to life, so without it, or enough of it, the structure of the story will fail. Every story needs description. It’s a fundamental element that allows the reader to share the story, and therefore it’s incredibly important. It should convey more to the reader than just the setting or a bit of action; description also conveys emotion, hidden nuances and colourful embellishments .   Imagine one of your favourite books without description. How dramatically would it affect the story?   Would it still allow you to immerse yourself in that fictional world? Does it stimulate your imagination? The answer is no, it wouldn’t. It would simply be a book devoid of anything but dialogue and narrative. By describing a scene, an event, a character, you are bringing t

Chapter or Scene Break? How and When to Use Them - Part 2

In Part 1 we looked at scene breaks, why they’re used and how to use them, so in this concluding part we’ll look chapters – when to use them and how effective to make them. While scene breaks literally allow a scene to break for a different POV or a flashback or to move forward through the story, a chapter signifies a completely new section of the story. But when exactly do you begin a new chapter? How do you introduce one without completely interrupting the flow of the story? Why start a new chapter? We use chapters to represent a new segment of the story, yet they must be a continuation of that story, otherwise readers will not be able to follow the story cohesively. And just like scene breaks, they can show a change of character viewpoint, they can signify a passing of time and they can be used for flashbacks.    They are also useful for reducing the size of any given chapter, since if you are using chapters, you will want to vary the length of each chapter to k