Philip Pullman calls time on the present tense Last week, the Daily Telegraph printed a story headlined "Philip Pullman and Philip Hensher criticise Booker prize for including present-tense novels". Not for the first time, a statement bellowed forthrightly in a headline became rather more muffled and provisional in the text below it, which carefully avoided having me say directly that I was criticising the Man Booker shortlist. I hadn't done that because I hadn't read the books. I'm quite prepared to believe that each of the listed novels that's told in the present tense is a miracle of literary art.
How To Find Your Writing Muse If you’re lying awake in bed, and you look over at your sleeping partner with their tongue hanging out, snoring, making odd farty noises, and your heart starts beating faster and you think, “Of course! What a brilliant idea for a horror story,” then congratulations, you have a genuine muse on your hands. Sadly, that’s not the case for everyone. Having someone who can inspire great ideas and put thoughts in your head that lead to marvellous stories is something we would all love, but the muse as an independent being who feeds out creativity is a rare and unreliable creation. So where can you go for a refill when your well runs dry?
How a Scene List Can Change Your Novel-Writing Life By the end of this post you will have a nagging urge to use an excel spreadsheet. Don’t make that face—I know you’re a writer and not a data analyst. Or if you are a data analyst—I get that you’re on this blog to get away from your day job. But guess what? At the suggestion of Randy Ingermason—the creator of the Snowflake Method—I listed all of the scenes in my novel in a nice little Google spreadsheet. 9 Easily Preventable Mistakes Writers Make with Dialogue Dialogue has been my own writing nemesis and I continue to find it a challenge, although each day of writing seems to improve it slightly! Today, author and blogger Ali Luke helps us with some basic dialogue mistakes and how to fix them. Whether you love writing dialogue or dread it, you’ll probably agree it’s an essential part of fiction.
Easy Novel Outline – Free Writing Lessons and Worksheets Here you'll find easy novel outline techniques to plan your book step by step, along with worksheets for planning characters and scenes. This is just one of many pages on this website with creative writing worksheets and advice. At the bottom, you'll find links to related pages on how to write a novel. An outline for your novel A novel outline is a plan for a novel.
The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better Than You Normally Do. Writing is a muscle. Smaller than a hamstring and slightly bigger than a bicep, and it needs to be exercised to get stronger. Think of your words as reps, your paragraphs as sets, your pages as daily workouts. Think of your laptop as a machine like the one at the gym where you open and close your inner thighs in front of everyone, exposing both your insecurities and your genitals. Because that is what writing is all about. This Itch of Writing: Psychic Distance: what it is and how to use it Psychic Distance is a concept which John Gardner explores in his book The Art of Fiction, and I think it's absolutely crucial, not difficult to understand, and not nearly talked about enough. You'll also find it called Narrative Distance because, basically, it's about where the narrative (and therefore the reader) stands, relative to a character. Another way of thinking of it is how far the reader is taken, by the narrator, inside the character's head. Gardner breaks it down thus:
Stop Learning. Start Applying. — Personal Growth Stop Learning. Start Applying. Stop searching.