Showing posts from September, 2016

The Importance of Motivation – What drives your characters? Part 1

Motivation is such an important element to fiction writing. Without it, there would be no story to tell. That’s how vital it is. Everything we do in life has a reason behind it, even the mundane things. This is basic human nature.   And sometimes, if we don’t do something, there may well be consequences. The thing about motivation is that is it controlled by behaviour – so psychology plays an important part. Characters, like real people, behave according to the things that go on around them and to them. Writing is all about the need to know why.   Why do people do what they do? What makes them react in a certain way? What lies beneath? It’s basic psychology; the need to not just know, but to understand the root of human behaviour. Every one of us has a backstory.   So do your characters.   Our backstories tell people who we are, where we’re from, who our parents are, what we do in life, our hopes and dreams and fears, and who we share that life with. We all have a childhoo

The Art of Writing Scenes - Part 2

Part 1 looked at the importance of effective scenes and how they work to enhance elements such as characterisation, plot, moving the story forward and imparting important information to the reader. But with all those elements in place, how do you start a new scene that seems natural and not forced? How can it appear to be a cohesive part of the story without it stuttering? There are many ways to begin scenes, and they will largely depend on what has happened in the previous scenes – remember that the story flow must be chronological , so proceeding scenes will follow in a logical way. Begin With Simple Exposition Writers sometimes start their scenes with a few narrative lines to get the reader into the next part of the story without A) too much info-dumping or B) jolting the reader, for example:- He slept better on a full stomach and in the morning he checked himself in the mirror and saw that his complexion had changed completely. He no longer looked like the pale gre

The Art of Writing Scenes – Part 1

There is no escaping it – every book needs great scenes in order to convey the story in such a way that the reader becomes fully immersed in the book and is unable to put it down. But is there a specific way writers should approach writing scenes? How do they know what to put into a scene and what to leave out? Every book is constructed in such a way that they rely on pivotal scenes that propel the story forward. It’s important that all scenes keep some kind of momentum and don’t allow the pace to grind to a halt. This is why many writers find constructing scenes a little overwhelming, especially when they’re not always sure what kind of scenes they need. We use scenes in various ways: To show the reader what’s going on To move the story forward To show characterisation To impart important or relevant information To help the plot Writing scenes might sound very straightforward, but there are a few things to think about when considering the elements that are

Perfecting Third Person POV – Part 2

Part 1 looked at the different types of third person POV available and the advantages this viewpoint gives the writer. Now we’ll look at the possible drawbacks to using 3rd person POV and ways to work efficiently with this commonly used POV. Disadvantages Thankfully there are not too many negative aspects to working with third person, but there are a few things for writers to be aware of. One of the main problems of third person POV is that with a cast of many characters, and trying to accommodate all of them, it can lead to something called ‘head hopping’. This is when the writer flits from character to character in the same scene, meaning the POV is all over the place. This means that any attempt to create emotion, tension, conflict or atmosphere, is lost. Here’s an example: John looked around the café and saw Diane at a table along the far wall, a book in her hands and her expression drawn in concentration. Despite her frown, she still looked beautiful. He approached wit