Archives

Writing a Novel? Make Sure You’ve Got a Story Bible

A story bible is basically a handbook for your fictional world, containing all the facts and details pertinent to your story.

Read More

What’s On Your Writer’s Utility Belt?

Just like Batman has a utility belt which is loaded with all deus ex machina gadgets he needs to help him save the day, so we writers all have our (figurative) utility belts loaded with all the tools we rely on to help us whenever we sit down to write…. Don’t we? 😶

Read More

5 Elements of a Great Story

A good story will stimulate the audience emotionally and intellectually; it will thrill them as well as make them think; frighten them as well as make them laugh and it will take them on a journey which is both meaningful and enjoyable. To accomplish this, there’s a few key ingredients you just can’t do without.

Read More

Idea Generators: Are They Any Use?

If you’re struggling to come up with an idea for your story, you might be tempted to Google story idea generators to help you out.

But do these little miracle makers really deliver the goods?

Read More

5 Writing Laws I Just Can’t Keep

If the Writing Police ever do raid my house at four in the morning and drag me before the Fiction Judge, I’m pretty sure the list of charges will be a long one and he’ll throw the book at me for every one of them. And so, today I’m here to confess my crimes.

Read More

Are You Making The Best Use Of Your Writing Time?

I’ve recently made a few more changes to my weekly writing schedule which I hope will allow me to make better use of my limited time. While I’m sure your writing schedule won’t be exactly the same as mine, I thought I’d tell you about it anyway to provide you with a bit of food for thought.

Read More

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?

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More