Said, Said Quietly, Whispered – Know Your Dialogue Tags

Pick up any novel from your bookshelf and flick through it. What do you see on the pages? Indentations; gaps; short, sharp sentences; one-word responses; speech marks. Dialogue. Books aren’t just 300 pages of description and storytelling – they’re built on conversation. A single scene of dialogue between characters can achieve almost anything. It can show usContinue reading “Said, Said Quietly, Whispered – Know Your Dialogue Tags”

Character Description: Beyond Stick Figures

Novels are made up of three main elements: plot, character, and action. The plot or storyline of a work is shown through the action taken by the characters. Try to imagine Harry Potter without the wizards, or Lord of the Flies without the school kids. Nothing would happen. Characters are important – and unless you’re working on some kind ofContinue reading “Character Description: Beyond Stick Figures”

Filtering Out Filter Words

I’m currently trudging through the first draft of my second novel, an experience made horribly stressful by my self-imposed one-month deadline. (Just over two weeks to go! Eek!) I’m already way behind schedule after spending the first four days completely ignoring all the advice I gave myself in my previous post on first drafts, but I’veContinue reading “Filtering Out Filter Words”

How to Write a Killer First Draft

In a month’s time, I’ll have written my second novel. Well, hopefully. For some stupid, ridiculous, reckless reason I’ve ordered myself to write a whole book in four weeks, as a kind of unofficial NaNoWriMo. Now, that’s not like me. I’m a plotter, a planner, a stop-and-smell-the-roses kind of writer. I spend days fretting over chapter titles.Continue reading “How to Write a Killer First Draft”

The #1 Rule of Writing: Show, Don’t Tell

If you’ve read my previous post on 15 Ways to Improve Your Writing, you might remember what came in at number 2 on the list: yep, that infernal phrase of the writing community, ‘show, don’t tell’. If you haven’t heard this phrase before, you’re about to get sick of it – and if you have,Continue reading “The #1 Rule of Writing: Show, Don’t Tell”

15 Ways to Improve Your Writing

To kick off my shiny new blog, I thought I’d start with the basics: my top 15 tips on how to improve your writing. From perfecting grammar and plot twists to avoiding boring description and the dreaded cliché, these are the tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years at uni, online, and throughContinue reading “15 Ways to Improve Your Writing”