Showing posts from July, 2018

How Important is Emotion in Writing?

If there is such a thing as a true magical ingredient for fiction writing, then emotion is one of them. Like conflict, it’s the one thing a story absolutely needs. Emotion doesn’t just make a story; it feeds it, sustains it and heightens it. Emotion is essential. A story without emotion isn’t much of a story. That’s because every story relies on emotions we all feel, the kind we all understand and can all identify with. It may not seem like it, but everything in a story revolves around emotion and there are two distinct ways to work with emotion in fiction writing – showing it and eliciting it. Show the Reader Our characters convey all manner of emotions as the story unfolds. Scenes are often charged with emotion, be it anger, love, betrayal, pain or fear etc.   Characters act and react constantly to other characters, to different situations and to personal conflicts.   We put our characters in danger, we’re mean to them, we give them dilemmas, we kill off their loved ones, we

Complex Characterisation

We all want to create characters that are so well developed that they seem real to the reader. Complex characterisation not only makes the character believable, or realistic, it shows them as they should be – fallible, flawed and anything but a hero. Complex characterisation isn’t just about knowing what they look like, sound like, how old they are, how they dress or what their favourite colour is. Complexity within characters starts with the background.   Every character has a backstory and a past.   It’s these details that help the reader identify with that character.   We’ve all done stupid things. We’ve all felt pain. We’ve all endured hard times and amazing moments. We all have inner demons. We’ve all accomplished things.   These things define us, and so we understand when we see a fictional character going through the same moments and emotions. That’s how we connect with the characters; we feel for them and we empathise, because we’ve been through similar events. We can rel

Constructing Story Outlines

For those writers who like to plan their stories, story outlines are a great foundation to ensuring the story moves in the right direction and doesn’t stutter. Outlines don’t have to be complicated.   They can be as simple or as detailed as you want. The most important thing is that you capture the main points of your story so you avoid writer’s block, stumbling blocks, ‘saggy middles’, trouble with plot twists, lack of direction and other writing problems. Every writer is different in their approach, and they will construct their outlines that best suit them. But whichever way you do it, it will still provide a road map from beginning of the story to the conclusion and it won’t leave you frustrated or stuck. For an outline to work, there has to be a well thought out, well developed plot from which to suspend the outline.   The plot is the important framework around which the story is woven. The plot will tell you what the story is about, whose story it is, why it’s happening