The ability to write a short story, and write it well, is invaluable to any author. Novelists in particular can benefit from regularly immersing themselves in short fiction. Writing short stories…
- Develops creative and critical skills.
- Builds portfolios.
- Provides the opportunity to expand experiences with submissions, editors and professional expectations.
- Furthers your understanding of genres and potential readerships.
- Helps construct a strong authorial presence and gets your name ‘out there’ as a published author.
So if you’re wading your way through the umpteenth draft of your novel, or even if you haven’t quite started yet, read on for five reasons you should stop what you’re doing (just for a bit) and start writing short stories.
1. Short stories develop your skills
As a novelist, you’re used to long-form fiction where you have the time, the space and the word count to…
Source: 5 Reasons Novelists Should Write Short Stories – Writer’s Edit
Scenes drive your story forward; without them, there would be no novel. Your scenes need to keep your reader on the edge of their seat with your plot and characters because otherwise, they won’t keep reading. Looking at your novel on a scene-by-scene basis is a critical step in the writing and editing process. Here’s a list of six things you can do to make every scene super engaging for your readers.
1. Structure your scenes to maintain good pacing
You’re probably aware of the importance of structuring your novel, but having good scene structure is equally important. By structuring your scenes carefully, you will ensure your novel maintains a good pace and isn’t full of dull patches.
Creating scenes and sequels
In his book Techniques of the Selling Writer, author Dwight V. Swain highlights the importance of creating scenes and sequels. He suggests that a scene should always be…
Source: 6 Quick Tips For Writing Gripping Scenes – Writer’s Edit
In our visual world of cinema and photography, setting often takes a back seat in novels. But even when constructed through words, visuals are a powerful story element. Whether creating a fantasy world from scratch or using the current world as your backdrop, it is important to work your setting into your story effectively. The first question is, obviously, where. But to truly master this story element, you need to consider the why, what, when and how as well. So, why is setting such a big deal? The experience of immersing oneself in a new place is becoming the domain of cinema, and it is still a powerful tool for today’s writer. Fiction is all about transporting a reader to another place – making them forget the paper in front of…
Source: How To Master Setting In Your Novel – Writer’s Edit
There are certain things all writers need: inspiration, creativity, dedication, some measure of talent. But there’s one thing that’s perhaps more important than all these elements combined – one thing that’s guaranteed to help you become a productive, prolific writer. And that thing is a writing routine. Every writer who wants to achieve their goals must have a writing routine. Without a routine, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of procrastination, or to disappoint yourself when your writing output isn’t where you want it to be. Without a routine, it’s hard to make writing a regular habit – and making it a habit is something you must do if you ever want to finish that novel! Like most things in life, there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution here. Every writer works differently and has different strengths…
Source: 7 Useful Tips For Establishing A Writing Routine – Writer’s Edit
Plot holes. We all know what they are: inconsistencies or gaps that defy logic in stories. And we all know they’re entirely undesirable when it comes to writing a good novel. Plot holes diminish the plausibility of a story and can have a huge effect on the way that story is viewed by readers. Your novel may be wonderfully written with great characters and an engaging plot – but leave one plot hole in there and, sadly, all your hard work may be undone. So how can you tell if your story has plot holes? And if it does, how can you go about filling them in? Let’s dive into a step-by-step process for finding and fixing plot holes in your novel. The first thing you need to do is to…
Source: How To Find And Fix Plot Holes In Your Novel – Writer’s Edit
Let’s start off with a fact: most (if not all) first drafts are terrible. Even Ernest Hemingway says so. There’s not really any avoiding this, not even for the most talented or experienced writer. But when you think about it, the concept of a less-than-stellar first draft is actually quite liberating. It means you’re free to write without expecting too much of yourself, without constraint or worry or overthinking. At least, that’s how it is in theory. But in practice, many writers still suffer from worries and setbacks during their first drafts. It can be hard to completely let go of what’s holding you back and just write, write, write. If this sounds familiar – if you’re in the midst of a first draft and finding yourself stalling, stressing, or stuck – read on. We’re about to cover…
Source: 7 Things NOT To Worry About During Your First Draft – Writer’s Edit
There are certain things all writers need: inspiration, creativity, dedication, some measure of talent. But there’s one thing that’s perhaps more important than all these elements combined – one thing that’s guaranteed to help you become a productive, prolific writer. And that thing is a writing routine. Every writer who wants to achieve their goals must have a writing routine. Without a routine, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of procrastination, or to disappoint yourself when your writing output isn’t where you want it to be. Without a routine, it’s hard to make writing a regular habit – and making it a habit is something you must do if you ever want to finish that novel! Like most things in life, there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution here. Every writer works differently and has different strengths and weaknesses…
Source: 7 Useful Tips For Establishing A Writing Routine – Writer’s Edit
The simple structure, clear elements, and unadorned style of fairy tales are something all writers can learn from. After all, fairy tales have passed the test of time. They engage readers (or listeners) exactly because their simplicity makes for dynamic (and dramatic!) stories. Regardless of what genre you write, here are the top five things writers can learn from reading fairy tales.
1. Craft a strong beginning
The classic ‘Once upon a time…’ story beginning immediately creates a connection with readers. It is familiar, while at the same time promising a new adventure. These are four magical words for kids, and for many adults. And that’s the point right there: the beginning of your story should be magical. A strong beginning should:
Convey a sense of atmosphere (giving a clue to the genre and style of your story)
Establish the setting
Source: 5 Things Writers Can Learn From Reading Fairy Tales – Writer’s Edit
The importance of your novel’s first chapter cannot be underestimated. It’s the chapter that introduces your book to the world – the chapter that needs to draw in agents and publishers and readers 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 chapter. However, there are certain elements that most successful first chapters share, and it’s those that should serve as guidelines to you when you’re writing the opening of your book. Virtually nobody is able to knock out a flawless first chapter on their first draft. You may need to come back and include some of these elements during your rewrite or edit. But even if you haven’t started writing yet, it’s worth keeping the following things in mind to ensure you’re on the right track.
Source: 7 Key Elements To Include In Your First Chapter – Writer’s Edit
When you’ve finally finished your manuscript after thousands of hours of work, the last thing you want to hear is that there’s more work to be done. But unfortunately, that’s the simple truth of the matter. Finalising your draft is an enormous achievement, but now’s not the time to rest on your laurels! There’s still a lot you need to do to get your book ready for publication. Once you’ve written, rewritten and edited and you’re satisfied with the story, it’s time to focus on the little things: the small yet important details of the writing itself. Despite (or perhaps because of) the hundreds of times you’ve read your manuscript, there are plenty of things you might have missed. Overused or unnecessary words; inelegant phrasing or exposition; long, difficult-to-read sentences… All of these things might have escaped your notice while you were dealing with bigger…
Source: 9 Simple Ways To Sharpen Your Manuscript – Writer’s Edit