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6 Useful Posts on Fiction and Writing

Here we have it: another exciting instalment of Useful Posts on Fiction and Writing, where I share some of the most useful, insightful or just downright enjoyable posts on fiction writing that I’ve found on WordPress in the last week.

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Gleaning Ideas from Other Stories

But what do you do when the Idea Tree stops putting out its juicy fruit? Easy. Glean ideas from someone else’s story.

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Daydreaming: An Essential Exercise for Writers

Daydreaming is a habit you should definitely get back into, especially if you plan on being a story-writer.

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Taking a Holiday From My Novel

I’m just getting a little fed up of the sight of my novel. And so the solution is to set aside a short time to work on other short writing projects…

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5 Writing Rules I Like To Ignore

Sometimes, however, you just need to rebel and write according to your own darn rules. So what follows are my top five common story-writing rules and wise sayings which I frequently bend, break and flat-out disagree with.

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Christmas Clichés and How to Avoid Them

Since I’ve just come to the end of my series on genre clichés and how to avoid them, I thought: what better thing to post about this Christmas than Christmas movie clichés?

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What’s Your Story About?

One of the biggest dangers we non-planning writers face is that you can easily end up writing screeds and screeds of excellent work, only to realise you can’t finish because you don’t know what it is you’re actually hoping to accomplish by writing. This is a recipe for another unfinished manuscript. So, before you write forty odd chapters and suddenly hit an insurmountable wall, ask yourself this question: What is my story about?

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Stories Are Read (Clichés Are Too)

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought today was as good a day as any to write a post about the tricky business of creating a half-decent love interest for your story. Even if you’re not writing a full-blown ‘romance’, there’s still a good chance you’ll want to include one.

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The Nightmare After Christmas

I really hate dream sequences.

I can count on one thumb the amount of dream sequences I’ve seen or read in any story that I’ve truly enjoyed and felt like they added something to the story. They’re usually only there as a cheap attempt to make a clever point or as a lame excuse to make the protagonist do something he otherwise would never do. At their worst extreme, they are the primordial slime of deus ex machina. Yes, I know I always say that it is a matter of personal taste what we like and if dream sequences are your thing then… well, I suppose I just have to accept that. But I hate them.

That is what ruined this year’s New Year Special of the BBC drama, Sherlock for me.

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The Essential Voice of Red

Narrative voice is always important in fiction but especially in Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption…. It is this, the narrative voice in the book, that makes this role so right for Morgan Freeman.

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