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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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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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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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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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6 Tips on Writing Queer Fiction

If you’re describing a same sex relationship or one involving someone who is trans or intersex or in…

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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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Uncharted Seas

Writing a novel is like setting out to sail across a vast, uncharted sea, without any resources such…

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