A Different Type of Beginning

This week we're looking at different ways to begin our story. Tuesday - Too Fast/Too Slow, Do we want to jump right in or build up to the action? Wednesday - Acting on Action, Opening a story with action whether it's a chase or just the characters doing something Thursday - Starting With Speech, Jumping … Continue reading A Different Type of Beginning

Describing Women

Hang around on any area of social media occupied by writers and you’re sure to see criticism of the way women are described in fiction. Not only women it’s important to note, but I’m a woman who writes women so I know something about it. The most common flaw with describing women is sexualisation. There’s … Continue reading Describing Women

Leaving Blanks

While the mirror technique often falls down at over description it’s important to remember that we don’t need to describe everything about a character or sometimes nothing. We’ve previously discussed how we can use character appearance to show character but we can also show character by what we don’t describe. For instance, if we’re writing … Continue reading Leaving Blanks

Making Them Move

A problem with describing characters is that sometimes we tell a reader one thing and then show them something else. For example, saying a character is very agile but not showing them being agile which affects how a reader imagines them. Just because we say they’re very agile if we keep showing the opposite then … Continue reading Making Them Move

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

The most common method of describing a protagonist is by using a mirror. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a character looking in a mirror and passing comment on their appearance, we’ve all had days where we’ve looked in the mirror and thought we looked tired, ill, or noticed something particularly suited us. The problem arises … Continue reading Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Describing Characters

This week we're painting our characters in vivid shades or leaving a gap for the reader to fill. We also have an special extended article on describing women. Tuesday - Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, The problems of the mirror approach Wednesday -  Making Them Move, Looking at showing how they move rather than telling Thursday - Leaving Blanks, Do we … Continue reading Describing Characters

Three of a Kind

Often a stumbling block in fiction is too much description in one go. It is possible to have a style of writing that is description heavy, and this is perfectly valid, often it’s found in literary fiction which tends towards a slower pace than a genre such as thriller. It can flow well and be … Continue reading Three of a Kind

I Can Write a Rainbow

I once heard the advice that adding a colour to a description can improve it and make it more vivid. This is true but not quite as simple as it sounds because it doesn’t always improve it, sometimes it can even have the opposite effect. As with any other description we need to consider what … Continue reading I Can Write a Rainbow

A Sense of Importance

As we’ve discussed before description can create emphasis. Generally the more description we have the greater importance something appears to be, however it’s not always as simple as that. If we spend long paragraphs describing something, even if it’s important, then we slow the story down because as long as we’re focused on whatever we’re … Continue reading A Sense of Importance

Making The Familiar Unfamiliar

Defamiliarisation is the process of making the familiar unfamiliar. Now, I could waffle on about poetic language and artistic intent and make this all very confusing, instead let’s look at direct application. When might we want to make the familiar unfamiliar? We might be writing a historical novel and a character encounters something every day … Continue reading Making The Familiar Unfamiliar