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.Find out more
Shaping the flow of writing
This is very odd, but when it comes to non-fiction I like drawing little pictures of the inner…Find out more
Veiling the Narrative
Stories are one of the ways we have to make sense of the world. I’m interested not just…Find out more
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…Find out more
Subjective third person narrative
When I was a child, like most young readers I wanted to identify with the characters in books….Find out more
How to plan a chapter
There’s a joke that goes something like this: Q: ‘How do you eat a whale?’ A: ‘One bite…Find out more
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…Find out more
What is a scene?
Novelists are always told to show, not tell. They are also told to ‘write in scenes’ which means…Find out more
Developing a scene
If you are already writing a memoir, look through the work you have done to date and see…Find out more
People tend to think about plot as though it’s something separate from character, with characters moving forward from…Find out more