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Find the shape of your story

Pick up one of the books you really like – it doesn’t matter if it’s fiction or non-fiction. Skim through it again, or just refresh yourself by looking at the table of contents or chapter headings (if applicable). Think of the shape and try out various sketches, until you feel you’ve captured a diagram that represents how it’s put together.

Now do that with another book.

And now shift to trying it for your own work! Sketch until you find a shape that satisfies your story. If your work isn’t finished, sketch what you’ve told, then sketch how you want your work to proceed.

With that as a guide editing will be easy, and eternal glory – or at least a nicely cohesive book – shall be yours.

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Shaping the flow of writing

This is very odd, but when it comes to non-fiction I like drawing little pictures of the inner…

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Veiling the Narrative

Stories are one of the ways we have to make sense of the world.  I’m interested not just…

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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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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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What is a scene?

Novelists are always told to show, not tell. They are also told to ‘write in scenes’ which means…

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Developing a scene

If you are already writing a memoir, look through the work you have done to date and see…

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Character-Driven Narrative

People tend to think about plot as though it’s something separate from character, with characters moving forward from…

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Flip the Scene

We’ve all got one in our distant past: the great love that got away because we were too…

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Write The Blurb For Your Novel

Write the blurb for your novel – the summary that appears on the back jacket of a book…

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