character development

10 Things Every Writers Needs To Know About Conflict

conflictConflict – the foundation of every novel bled onto the page.

Without it, your book flatlines harder than the grim reaper. No self-respecting book doctor will even attempt to resuscitate it. And yet, you need to, because conflict is the god of novels.

If you’ve been a good little girl then conflict will dip its mighty hand into Santa’s sack and bestow heavenly book treasures on you, like: pace, tension, plot line and well-rounded characters with enough depth to drown a reindeer. But without it we’re talking dead Kipper slaps to the face.

And no body wants a stinky dead fish face mask.

But when you love your precious little bundle of baby hero joy more than life itself, torturing them with a bout of – villain/antagonist/insert other form of conflict shaped nappy rash can be rather more difficult than one expects.

Here are 10 tips for shaping your books conflict. (more…)

Lies – 5 Tips to Master The Perfect Character Arc

character arcI confess… Instead of reading the half dozen books I already have on the go, I accidentally (ok, on purpose) opened a guilty pleasure novel. And no, that’s not a sexual reference, you filth-bag, I meant my fave genre – YA fantasy).

Because it’s my genre I took the opportunity to research. I never read a book without taking a lesson from it.

This time I learnt all about the character arc and one awesome method for achieving the perfect curve! The book I read: Frostbite by Richelle Mead (part of the Vampire Academy series), used an awesome technique in which to perfect that arc – Lies(more…)

You Need To Try This Guaranteed Method of Creating Depth In Your Writing

More DepthOne of my favourite quotes is a juxtaposition, pitting perfection against failure.

“I think perfection is ugly. Somewhere in the things humans make, I want to see scars, failure, disorder, distortion.” Yohji Yamamoto

There are a million juxtapositions I could have used as examples, even ones as simple as: light and dark. But the point is over the last few books I have read, I have discovered what an extraordinary tool they are and, one that should be in every writers’ bag of tricks.

Here’s why, and how to use them more effectively.

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Want The Perfect Hero? Don’t Make These 2 Mistakes

Perfect heroEverybody wants to create the perfect hero. I know I do. But creating the perfect hero means more than just perfection. It means imperfection.

I like examples, I like learning from examples and I just happen to have read another book (Independent Study (The Testing Trilogy Book 2)), so I am going to use the hero from that to explain how not to create the perfect hero. (more…)

Warning: These 5 Points Will Help You Create Awesome Female Villains

Warning: These 5 Points Will Help You Create Awesome Female Villains

What is it about women that just isn’t scary? Perhaps it’s because women represent motherhood and mothers are loving and caring. Or maybe it’s because we are (generally) smaller framed and not as physically strong as (most) men and therefore don’t epitomize the brutality of villainy.
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The Dexter Effect – How to use your inner ‘Psycho’ to write better – The Crafting Characters Series #5

Psycho copy

My aim here, is to see if I can convince you to get up close and personal with your own inner psycho…

Have you ever watched Dexter? If you haven’t, you should. It’s great, Wiki says:

Dexter is an American television drama series. Set in Miami, the series centers on Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), a blood spatter pattern analyst for Miami Metro Police Department who also leads a secret life as a serial killer, hunting down criminals who have slipped through the cracks of the justice system.’  (more…)

To Edit or Not to Edit? That is the Question

halfway-point

HELP…

I have a wonderfully rare gift tomorrow. A day off from work, almost entirely child free that I intend to dedicate to writing. Whilst I am acutely aware I now have an overdue assignment, tomorrow is dedicated to my novel. But I have a problem.

I have 50 something thousand words written – that need a heavy edit, I have some major character development needed too, and probably before I carry on. I have also lost a bit of confidence due to the mis-timed feedback and I’m not sure how to get it back. But it has knocked me significantly off track, and now I feel like I need to go back and edit major storylines, sub-stories and character lines.

But here is my question, Should I go back and spend the time I have between life admin editing the 50K? Or do I spend a couple of hours on character development and then soldier on with the story and edit at the end?

Now – before you all charge in and tell me to plough on (because thats what everyone has said without exception)

There are a few caveats –

I need to either raise my confidence with what words I already have down on the page or I am not going to be able to continue, OR someone needs to provide me with an extremely rational logical argument as to why I should continue.

Listen to me. I already know the answer, I am inviting you to tell me to continue, but I am stuck. Stuck wanting to edit, to critique and perfect what I have before carrying on… the urge to edit is overwhelming.

Also now I haven’t looked at my novel since the 26th Nov when I completed NaNo, the usual ‘carry on to keep the flow going’ doesn’t really apply, as I am a bit out of the flow now anyway.

So what do I do???

Answers on a blogpostcard!