Ten steps in book writing after the first draft’s done

November is just about over, and all things being equal, NaNoWriMo participants should end up with something like a ‘bad first draft’ at the end of that writing month. Which is very cool, because a bad first draft is better than no first draft. That sounds like an old aphorism, but it’s absolutely true, because … More Ten steps in book writing after the first draft’s done

How to juxtapose writing style across content…and laugh…

One of the best writing exercises I know is to emulate a specific author – ‘writing in the style of…’ – because it forces the writer to analyse exactly how the writing they’re emulating was put together. That’s how you learn things. But let’s take that further. The idea of writers figuring out another’s writing … More How to juxtapose writing style across content…and laugh…

Knocking writers’ block into submission

Although some writers deny there’s any such thing as ‘writer’s block’, the fact is that all too often writers sit down for a writing session and…nothing. Sometimes it’s because the muse has fled. Sometimes it’s because the list of Good Ideas just won’t translate into the written sentence. For a lucky few of us it’s … More Knocking writers’ block into submission

How to write compelling dialogue

The problem writers face when assembling dialogue is the fact that written and spoken English are two different things. Actual spoken English is almost incomprehensible if you transliterate it – a mess of half-phrases, fillers, pauses, switches of direction and broken sentences. The reason’s that verbal communication is only part of the spoken story – … More How to write compelling dialogue