Showing posts from September, 2021

Background Information

Background information shouldn’t be confused with backstory. When we talk of background, we’re referring to the peripheral details that writers use to colour certain areas of the story. It provides extra information for the reader and therefore makes the story more immersive. Backstory refers to past events which form the development of the character and story arcs, while background provides a little bit of context to the action taking place in the present. Background is all about the details that can help layer a story and provide some depth, such as where and when the scene is taking place, or subtle things that are happening within the scene. It’s important that you show the reader the background for each scene, otherwise they won’t be able to build a picture in their mind.   Writers often forget to describe where the characters are in relation to a particular moment in the story, which can make it difficult for the reader to follow what’s going on. Readers need details. If th

Fragmented Sentences – Are They Really Bad?

Every writer who has used Word will be familiar with the phrase ‘fragmented sentence’.   It’s usually flagged up because it thinks the sentence is incomplete and therefore not grammatically correct, for example: A lot of rain. The children outside. A fragmented sentence is a clause that is missing a subject and a verb, so it appears as though it’s an incomplete thought. The subject is the who or what of a sentence and it gives the reader extra information within the sentence. And without a subject, there is nothing and no one to complete the action, which means the sentence is expressing an incomplete thought – it appears fragmented, for example: A lot of time and effort. As it stands, this sentence doesn’t form a complete thought – it’s doesn’t have a subject or a verb. The verb tells the reader what the subject is doing, so if there is no verb, readers won’t have a complete picture. The inclusion of a verb provides the action in the sentence, for example: A lot of ti

Finding Connection

Finding connection is all about the ability to connect with the reader through your story and your characters.   Why? Because everything within the story should be relatable to the reader – something they understand, sympathise with or have experienced. The moment the reader makes that connection with the story and the main character, that’s when then the story takes on a deeper meaning – the moment the reader will care and become emotionally invested in what happens to the characters and the story. They’re not just reading a story; they’re being part of it. Finding connection isn’t as difficult as it sounds. It happens when you create a sense of immediacy , which is like an invisible bond; a sense of familiarity. Immediacy can be achieved through your characters, so the characters you create play an important role in establishing a connection with the reader. They have to be likeable and believable people. That’s why readers are drawn to ordinary people whose circumstances they

Use Semicolons to Your Advantage

It seems that many writers don’t understand the semicolon, or they don’t know how or when to use it. Some writers just don’t like it and never use it in their writing, which is a shame, because the semicolon is such a versatile little thing, and when used correctly, it can change the dynamic of a sentence. The semicolon (;) isn’t a comma and it’s not a full stop. Whereas a comma indicates a brief pause to separate two independent clauses, and a full stop indicates the end of a sentence, the semicolon is considered stronger than a comma because while it can act as a brief pause, it can draw the reader’s attention to something specific in the narrative and can add context and it can bring clarity to your sentences. Writers use it to emphasise a connection of elements within a sentence, as well as to separate those elements within the sentence. A semicolon is most commonly used between two independent clauses (stand-alone sentences), in the absence of a co-ordinating conjunction (wo