Showing posts from February, 2016

Turning Points

We’ve looked at this subject before, but it’s always good to revisit certain elements of fiction writing, it helps keep things fresh in the memory, so it’s time to look again at the art of a good turning point. So what do writers mean when they talk of turning points? A turning point describes exactly what it is – it’s a pivotal moment within the story when the story takes a turn in a different direction and things change. This occurs either through the actions or decisions of the main character, or there’s a significant reveal. It may be the character faces a terrible dilemma. They’re important in fiction because no story is without ups and downs and twists and turns, otherwise there wouldn’t be any story. They don’t always have to be physical turning points – through actions, for example – they can also be emotional turning points when, perhaps, a character ‘realises’ a hard truth or loses someone important to him or her. Perhaps it is something unexpected, so these kind of

Editing Hacks – Part 2

Part 1 looked at five tips to use when it comes to editing, things such as waiting to finish the story before you edit, printing it out so you have a physical copy to look at or reading it aloud and so on, but here are five more hacks to help writers help themselves where editing is concerned, starting with hack number 6... 6. Keep a Continuity Sheet/Notebook Similar to making notes, this is another tried and tested method that many writers use. A continuity sheet or notebook is a useful way to make sure that key details remain correct and consistent throughout the story - things like character names, place names, incidents, characteristics, colours, settings and clothing etc. It’s easy to forget that your hero might be a blonde, blue-eyed stud because by chapter 25, after all the action and excitement of the story, he’s morphed into a man with brown hair and dark eyes. Or it could be that in chapter 3 he’s from a town called Oakley, but in chapter 7 it’s become Oakly. Perhap

Editing Hacks – Part 1

Editing isn’t the most enjoyable process for some, or the easiest, but there are ways to make the process simpler, especially for beginners, so these insights will help make it easier for writers – regardless of their experience – to help themselves when it comes to editing their work. Hacks, tips, snippets of advice – whatever you want to call them, they provide a starting point for writers, something to work to, and while there is never a right or wrong way to do things, they’re all tried and tested, and they all work in their own way. So, what’s the best way to try to edit a novel?   What are the best tips? In this first part, we’ll start will the basics and work our way up. 1. Finish the Manuscript There is a valid and important reason for this particular piece of advice, and it’s now an accepted an accepted universal guidance. The reason why we say it’s better to finish the manuscript first is because it makes the entire editing process easier. There are writers wh

Rewrites – Is There a Correct Process?

Some writers love rewriting, others loathe it. But it’s a process every writer must do in order to get to a publishable standard. Every piece of work needs rewriting – no writer is perfect, and no first draft is ever perfect either, fact, so any writer that boasts that they don’t need to rewrite is a liar or an incompetent fool. Rewriting is a fundamental part of the writing process because there will be times when you will want to add scenes, cut scenes, change things around, add characters, remove them and so on.   Some writers chop and change whole chapters – whatever it takes to get the scene or chapter right. Not only that, but often chapters overrun, or scenes just drag on, so some judicial cutting and rewriting is a must. Is there a correct process for rewriting?   The simple answer is that rewriting is an individual process, and writers approach in it different ways; however it’s an important process that every writer should get to grips with. Beginners, in partic