Just Press Send

On Friday morning I sat in bed with various empty chocolate wrappers around me and two dozen drafted emails on my laptop screen. After years of work on THE GIRL YOU LEFT BEHIND, I was finally ready to go: book completed, literary agents researched, queries typed, email addresses copied, and files attached. There was nothingContinue reading “Just Press Send”

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”