While writers the world over struggle to craft truly original stories, theorists spend their time identifying ways in which they are actually all the same. Joseph Campbell famously reduced the number of stories to just one: The Hero’s Journey, as outlined in his influential 1949 work, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. In more recent […]
To discover what thematic metaphor your plot is offering from amid its characters’ entertaining adventures, all you have to do is ask the right questions.
Recently, we delved into what makes a great opener for a novel, covering the key elements to include in your first chapter. But just as there are important elements you should aim to include, there are also elements you should strive to avoid. As we discussed previously, your first chapter has the power to make or break your […]
The importance of your novel’s first chapter cannot be overestimated. It’s the chapter that introduces your book to the world – the chapter that needs to hook readers, agents and publishers alike. (No pressure or anything!) Unfortunately, there’s no predetermined formula for a perfect first chapter. Every story is different, and so is every opening […]
Writing plot twists is much harder than it looks. As readers, we’re used to devouring mind-blowing twists and turns, marvelling at the cleverness of the writers who devised them. But as writers behind the scenes, it’s difficult to dream up new and innovative ways of subverting readers’ expectations. If you want to write stories that surprise […]
If you’re writing a series rather than a standalone novel, you’re facing a whole range of additional challenges. The idea of writing one book can be intimidating enough, let alone several books that need to come together in a coherent whole! But don’t worry. To help you through the process, we’ve identified seven of the most […]
When your writing is hard, here are a few practicable steps that will help you move toward a solution for your situation’s unique challenges.
Let’s admit it, readers: we all love a good death scene. Whether we’re ugly-crying because we loved the character so much and OH, THE INJUSTICE, or punching the air and cheering because that villain got what they deserved… There’s nothing like a well-crafted death scene to elicit a strong reaction in a reader. But how […]
Most writers will be aware that pacing is important, whether in a short story, a novel or across an entire series. But what exactly is pacing? Why is it so important? And how can you make sure you master it in whichever kind of story you’re writing? Pacing in fiction refers to the speed at […]