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Auditioning Characters

Characters really matter. No matter what kind of fiction you’re writing, characters really, really matter… so it’s worthwhile spending a bit of time refining your characters. I like to do this by ‘auditioning’ characters…

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Throwback Thursday: The Perfect Antagonist

The antagonist – what we might loosely call ‘the bad guy’ – can make or break an otherwise good story. He is the living and breathing incarnation of the obstacle your protagonist (or ‘hero’, if you insist) needs to overcome.

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Monday Motivation

Do or do not. There is no ‘try.’

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10 Quotes About Writing

‘There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.’
– Maya Angelou

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Monday Motivation

I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged.

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7 Deadly Writing Sins

There remain some lines we should simply never cross; some crimes we can commit as authors which are just unforgivable. And so, I’ve listed a few of them here for your enjoyment and instruction.

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Throwback Thursday: Take a First Draft and Make it Better

It was still the worst story I had ever written. But that didn’t matter. It was a completed draft; a full blown story with a beginning, a middle and an end which more or less made sense. The difficult bit was now at hand: writing a redraft.

After the initial excitement of finishing the first draft wore off, I quickly found myself less than enthusiastic about the second draft. It can feel a little bit like you’re starting from scratch with something you’ve already spent weeks on. However, you’ll find it a whole lot more rewarding and enjoyable to do if you remember that the point of a redraft is to make your story better. In other words, it’s about taking a little time to identify and fix the problems with the first draft, rather than starting all over again.

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Monday Motivation

Find something only you can say.

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Throwback Thursday: Persevere With Your Idea

I never started writing with a bad idea. In fact, I’m not even entirely convinced there is such a thing as bad story ideas or good story ideas. There are just ideas, some of which are well executed, some of which are badly executed and some of which are never executed because the would-be writer cannot decide the best way to do it, or is unwilling to try (though I feel that in the interests of public safety, I should point out that this only applies to story ideas; other kinds of ideas, like deciding to use Tabasco sauce as an eye-drop, really are bad ideas).

So, why do the marvellous ideas we start with so quickly turn into half-finished manuscripts that we are unable to finish and are ashamed to have even begun?

I’m beginning to learn that it comes down to perseverance (or a lack thereof) and perfectionism.

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Monday Motivation

Write every day even if it is just a paragraph

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