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Writing in a Spoken Voice

If you find the point of view in your stories tends to wander around the place (sometimes very informal and close to the character, sometimes quite formal and distant) write in a more spoken voice. Choose a voice you can hear in your head, perhaps even one belonging to someone you know very well. If you do this, then rather than worrying about technical difficulties, you can just think, ‘How would X start this story?’ or ‘How would X do dialogue?’

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The Gap Between

I’d like you to do something very simple. Sit back, close your eyes, and try to remember an…

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Exploring different third person points of view

Write part of a story in the form of a scene from a play, beginning with a description…

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Subjective third person narrative

When I was a child, like most young readers I wanted to identify with the characters in books….

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How to plan a chapter

There’s a joke that goes something like this: Q: ‘How do you eat a whale?’ A: ‘One bite…

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Five tips about planning your novel (and a word of warning)

1. It will help you get started A lot of people cling to the romantic idea of a…

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Magic in the Mundane

A comic is a string of sequential panels that are both literary and visual in their storytelling. Striking the balance between what is said with words and shown with pictures is essential to creating an immersive reading experience. Write a short script for a one-page comic. A practical starting point is to think about a small event that happened to you, for example…

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Strongest Foot Forward

Making a comic involves a host of skills. Remember that when we make comics, we are combining words and images to be read simultaneously. So broadly speaking we need to do at least two things; to write and to draw.

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Finding your Antagonistic Antagonist

Thrillers need to be page-turners with cracking plots, plenty of twists and great characters (particularly in psychological thrillers)….

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Creating an Antagonistic Antagonist

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Newton’s third law of motion could equally apply…

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Asking… what if?

The term ‘speculative fiction’ is often used in vague ways – crossing a variety of genres such as…

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Don’t talk down to younger readers

Don’t think that all children want to hear about is fluffy bunnies, naughty elves and lessons to be…

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