Believe it or not, I hear aspiring new writers express the wish to avoid using tropes in their stories on a fairly regular basis. Somehow, tropes appear to be developing a bit of a negative image.
If you aren’t quite sure what a trope is, here’s what Wikipedia says:
The word trope has also come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs or clichés in creative works.
A trope might be:
We’re back for round three in our Block Busting series! This is your one stop shop for breaking writer’s block and getting your pen back on paper, your fingers back on the keys and your characters back into action.
Today we have some practical advice and a great writing exercise for you to try:
Especially good for the mid-novel stumps!
Pop one or more of your characters out of the narrative and send them to the therapist’s office. This is a great way to really interrogate your characters and find out how the events of the plot so far are…
There has never been so much opportunity to get your work out into the world. We’ve talked about self-publishing a lot recently - so let’s talk now about more traditional publishing routes.
Self-publication is an appealing route to market for many new writers. For some writers self-publication is a conscious choice and for others it represents a route removed from the (sometimes insurmountable) barriers you might encounter with literary agents, publishing houses and independent presses. However, traditional publishing represents many things new and established writers alike need and / or want, such as:
For as long as I can remember, people have been telling me to “write what you know”.
Until very recently I had no real appreciation for what that advice really means. If you tell a professional explorer to write what they know, they likely have a stockpile of eye popping material to draw from! Otherwise, you might get a very stumped writer sitting about and reflecting on how unremarkable their life is.
Let me ask you this: Have you ever been to space? Probably not. Does that mean that if your book is set in space, you can’t write what…
Let’s face it, things are a bit shit at the moment. Some people are naturally very gifted at finding the silver lining in any given situation but for those of us who aren’t natural spin doctors, it takes a bit more thought and consideration, and a concerted effort to move past that black cloud.
However, now is a great time to be a writer. The world’s professional writers are putting their best feet forward. We’ve got free book giveaways to the housebound, discounts, authors sending their itineraries to nursing homes free of charge, emails and messages of support to fans…
Today we’re looking at a couple of techniques for adding depth, filling in plot holes and getting your narrative moving! This is the second in my series of tips and tricks for beating writer’s block and creative slumps.
Read on and prepare to be inspired…
Journaling has always been a great way to keep your writing hand in and the words flowing but have you ever thought about having your characters write a few journal entries?
I find this to be a great way for finding and injecting some extra depth into your stories. Sit yourself at the desk of…
Let me take a moment to get this off my chest:
There is nothing more frustrating to a British writer than a word processor insisting the correct spelling of “organisation” is “organization”.
I come from a marketing background; born, raised and based in the UK. For British-based clients trying to reach out and do business on a larger scale with the North-US market, a key question that always gets asked is: “Should we Americanise the brand?”
At the most basic of levels, this means keeping certain kinds of Britishisms and idioms to a minimum, adopting US spelling in customer facing…
I don’t know about you but when I first seriously considered writing a novel, I attacked it the way which made the most sense to me — formulaically.
I did some research: how long are books usually? OK, 20 chapters is a good round number, how many words do I need per chapter? What’s my average scene length? So how many scenes am I looking at per chapter? And now can I build a narrative with clues and plot points which fit with my nice, neat little layout?
In my own way, I was trying to break what seemed like…
Some writers like to complete a full first draft before they edit. Some writers prefer to perform continuous quality control checks throughout the drafting process. Regardless of which camp you fall into, here are five editing hacks to help you catch errors and imperfections in spelling, grammar, punctuation, clunky dialogue and sentence structure:
We’ve all done it… I read this five times; how did I miss that spelling mistake every — single — time?
It can be easy for the eye to skip over a syntax or grammatical error if you aren’t expecting to see it. We’re very good at…