Showing posts from May, 2021

Use Motifs to Make Your Novel Interesting

Motif is a literary device that is repeated throughout a novel.   It has symbolic and thematic significance that can add an extra dimension to your writing because it can evoke a mood, highlight certain aspects of the story, act as foreshadowing, underscore themes, provoke the reader’s senses, and provide depth and meaning beneath the surface of the story. A motif can be anything – a recurring phrase, a colour, a character, a scent, an action, an object, a specific image or even an idea. It can be absolutely anything, as long as it’s repeated throughout the story and is apparent to the reader, but more importantly, the motif must relate directly to the story. For example, in a crime story, the image of blood could be a relatable motif. Maybe a particular piece of jewellery keeps appearing in your romance novel. Maybe the sound of a grandfather clock is repeated. Whatever the object or image, make sure it relates to the story so that it emphasises your theme or something significan

Laying Story Foundations

On the surface, writing isn’t just about stringing words together. It’s much more than that, and it goes deeper than the surface. Think of a story like a house that needs to be built. You cannot build the walls or roof until you have sound foundations and the supporting structure in place. The same is true of storytelling – the foundations of any story always support the plot, subplots, themes, characters and everything else contained within the story. Laying solid foundations for a story is vital, otherwise the core of your story might crumble. We all know that a structure won’t support itself unless it has firm foundations. The same is true for a novel. It may not hold up too well without something firm to shore it up. The idea of laying your foundations shouldn’t be confused with creating the framework from which your story hangs. Instead, it encompasses the major building blocks required for the novel, like genre, plot, strong main characters, a main theme and a setting. From

How to Create Atmosphere

Like tension and mood, atmosphere is a key component in fiction writing. It’s a way of creating a particular emotional feeling with the reader and makes use of different elements to achieve this. It elevates the narrative and keeps the reader engaged, but it also means the writer can manipulate the reader’s senses. Let’s start with setting. Various scenes will take place in different locations, so the environment is key to setting the tone and mood. Is the location dark woodland, a deserted beach, the ruins of an old house or maybe a road in the middle of nowhere? Or what about a cosy restaurant, a coffee shop or even the sofa at home with a blanket and some popcorn? How does the location affect the way your main character acts? Are they comfortable in their surrounds, or are they apprehensive, scared or curious about something? Their emotions should enhance the mood and translate to the reader. They should pick up on those sentiments, too. With the right setting for a scene,

Creating Tension – Part 2

Part 1 looked at the importance of creating immediacy, conflict, emotion, escalating problems and generating lots of drama to help develop and maintain tension, but there are some more elements to consider, too, such as pacing, providing twists and turns, and probably the most fundamental thing – description. A sense of pace works by seemingly speeding up the narrative and then deliberately slowing things down. Varying the pace is a great way to intensify things for the reader. Think of their narrative journey like a roller coaster – it’s never constant and never stays still, it’s up and down, slow and fast, all at the right moments. Tension often works best when the pace is slowed right down (as opposed to fast paced action scenes, which heighten drama). That’s because it allows the reader to take in everything being described to them – the tone, the atmosphere, the words, the emotions and the conflict. It forces everything to become focused within the scene.   For instance