The articles in this section are general tips and insights that apply to many different types of fiction.
- 7 Signs That You're Destined to be a Writer
If you remember eagerly uncapping your pen at school to write about 'What I Did in the Holidays' or 'My Big Adventure', then you probably had no chance from the start - a writer you were destined to be!
- Putting Yourself in Your Stories
Every story you write will be filtered through your own experiences and opinions. It's virtually impossible to hide your own likes, dislikes, prejudices and biases.
- Titles That Sell
"I can't think of a title. Do you have any ideas?"
I've lost count of the times someone has said this to me! I usually roll my eyes and groan. Do I have any ideas? Not likely. Coming up with a title is hard work. Oh, sure, sometimes the perfect title seems to appear from nowhere... but more often, it involves a lot of brainstorming and some pretty dodgy choices in the beginning.
- Crossing Genres or Age Groups
For one reason or another, you might be thinking of switching genres, or changing from one age group to another. What are the problems you might encounter? Do you have to re-learn or un-learn anything? What are the differences, say, in writing for adults when you've been used to writing for children - or vice versa?
- Can You Write a Breakout Novel
Not so long back, I received about half a dozen pieces of writing in a row that were competent - but which didn't stand out in any way. These were writers who had studied the craft, and were writing fluent passages of prose. They had all the technical aspects of their craft right. They knew how to construct passages of dialogue; each scene was well planned... so WHAT WAS WRONG?
- Scrapbooking and Writers
I've always felt that not nearly enough writers value their work for its own sake. Yes, it's nice to achieve publication via traditional methods (submit to a publisher, get a 'yes', end up with a published book in your hand, get some royalties). But what if you can't quite manage to get that 'yes'? Scrapbooking might hold some answers...
- Creating Your Fiction World
If you're like most people who read fiction, you hope for characters that engage you and a plot that intrigues you. These are the core elements of any novel. However, you need to be able to add colour and life to every part of your story world. If you don't know how to do this, your plot is just a scaffold, and your characters more like ghosts than living people.
- How to Resuscitate a Dead Story
Does this work? I have no idea, because I've never had quite the same dilemma. However, I think these tips on how to resuscitate a dead story probably would work for some writers, because it removes the stress of 'having' to come up with a plot that works. And if not... the author has lost only a few hours, and has exercised a few writing muscles!
- Write a Satisfying Ending
Story endings are hard to write -- often much harder than beginnings. Any author who wants to be published must understand how to write a book with a powerful ending. It's important to know two things: one, what will disappoint readers (and editors) and two, what works well.