Showing posts from September, 2020

Avoid a Contrived Story

It’s very common for writers to orchestrate certain things that they think work for their story, whether it’s something to do with the plot or the characters or situations, but in reality what they end up doing is creating a contrived story. In writing, when something is contrived, it means that some aspects of the story have been deliberately created or forced into being, rather than happening organically or naturally because of the story. The result is that some plots and situations stretch plausibility – something the readers always notice. It’s something all writers do at some point, but not all of them break this habit. So why do writers artificially engineer their stories in such a way to leave the reader thinking, “As if!”? Every story needs to be plausible. The plot, the characters and the events all need to believable. Those key events need to happen functionally and organically because of the story arc, not because the writer has run out of ideas, or he hasn’t planned the s

Creating Great Secondary Characters

Almost every novel has a range of supporting characters to help bring the story to life and who revolve around the main character. These secondary characters aren’t just there to make up the numbers. They’re necessary if you want to tell a complete story. Writers use them to create different viewpoints, reveal important details and involve them within subplots, they support the protagonist and they help the story arc to evolve. They also help the story move forward. The main character needs them, whether they are friends, family, strangers or enemies. They are there to help, motivate, challenge or even create conflict with your protagonist. Ultimately, they all have the same purpose - to help get the story from the beginning to the end. They bring added dimension and depth to your story. So who are secondary characters? Secondary characters usually have some dialogue and interaction with the main character. They may have their own scenes, or be part of a subplot. Characters that s

Give Your Novel Lasting Imagery

Creating visceral imagery is always a subject worth revisiting as a reminder to writers for their stories to leave a lasting impression with their readers and open the door to reading more of their work. Novels are meant to leave an impression. The imagery you use is important not just for the story, but for the reader, because that’s the kind of thing that makes the story memorable – it remains in their subconscious. Strong imagery conveys a sense of the story, the characters and the entire scene. This is drawn from vivid description, where we create the kind of lasting images that will stay with the reader. The strength of your description is what creates lasting imagery and emphasises the story and characters; the very thing that lifts them from the page. Some writers are visceral with the way they show imagery, some writers like their narrative raw, while others are subtle in the way the engage words, emotions and senses to bring the reader into a deeper level of the story.