Nobody can tell you how to write your story or give you cast iron rules to follow for a bestseller. Others can only advise and suggest techniques and perspectives you may not have considered.

So, having studied writing for years I’m hoping I can offer you some thoughts on what I’ve learnt and point you in the direction of a few gems I found in my studies.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for ask a question via the comment section below each article or Twitter: @SisterQuill

Finding Your Toolbox:
  • Getting Started – A few things to consider.
  • Reading Like a Writer – Learning from others work.
  • Putting Pen to Paper – On observing and researching.
  • Getting Grammatical – Considerings apostophes, homophones, commas, and semi-colons.
  • More Gruesome Grammar – Looking at commas, brackets, dashes and double punctuation.
  • Words, Words, Words – Looking at tricky tense changes and overused convoluted sentences.
  • Troublesome Words – Looking at those tricky words that change depending on context, may be or maybe?
  • Writer’s Block – A few things to try when you’re stuck.
  • Creative Writing Workshop – How they can be helpful and unhelpful.
Finding Your Voice:
  • Forming First Drafts Using the first draft to find your story.
  • The Purpose of Plot – What is a plot and how does it work?
  • Follow the Narrative Road A look at narrative structure.
  • Where For Art Thou Beginning? – Finding the right beginning.
  • A Different Type of Beginning – Do we begin with action? Speech? Or monologue?
  • Meditating on the Middle – Finding the balance between plot, character and pace.
  • All The Way to The End – Finding the right ending can be a tricky thing.
  • Edifying Endings – Different types of endings present different problems.
  • Chipping at Chapters – To chapter or not chapter? That is the question.
  • Pacing Prose – Considering the basics of pacing a story.
  • Looking at Love – How can we create romance plots and romantic tension in our fiction?
  • Covention and Expectation – Looking at genre conventions and how we can break them.
Finding Your Perspective:
  • Picking a Perspective The different narrative voices you could use.
  • Centre Stage – The basics of first-person/subjective narration.
  • Assembling a Narrator – Creating a first-person/subjective narrator.
  • Those Pesky Side Characters – Revealing secondary characters in first-person/subjective narration.
  • Making Narrators Unreliable – Looking at different ways a first-person/subjective narrator might not tell us the whole truth.
  • Limiting Omniscience – A look at the challenges and benefits of limited omniscient narration. (Third-person)
  • The All Seeing Narrator – Looking at omniscient/reliable narration. (Third-person)
  • Sitting Outside the Story – Is the omniscient narrator the author or someone else?
Finding Your Characters:
  • Agonising Over Archetypes – What are archetypes and can they help us in our writing?
  • Casting Characters – What’s the difference between main characters, secondary, and bit parts?
  • Painting a Protagonist – Every part of your character is important.
  • Vile Villainy – A villain is more than a stereotype.
  • The Antagonistic Force – Sometimes our character’s antagonist is them.
  • Creating Characters – Looking at different ways of using character description.
  • Attack of the Plot Puppet – Comparing when our characters are puppets to the plot or have agency of their own.
  • Describing Characters – Looking at painting our characters in vivid shades or leaving a gap for the reader to fill. Also features an extended article on describing women.
  • Discussing Dialogue – Dialogue is about more than just words.
  • Dictating Dialogue – Looking at some of the technical aspects of dialogue.
  • Adding Some Sparkle – Considering how to make speech individual.
  • Starting a Setting – How can we use setting to show character?
  • Clarifying Character – Keep characters moving forward.
  • Hero Versus Villain – Protagonist and antagonist can be more complicated than good and bad.
  • Focusing on Friendship – Looking at the different ways friendship can affect plot or be affected by plot.
  • Relating to Relationships – Looking at relationship arcs and what we can learn from Romance fiction to help us write them.
  • Getting Internal – Beginner’s guide to internal monologues.
  • Getting Characters Thinking – How do we get those internal monologues going?
  • Breaking Up Backstory – Looking at how a character’s backstory impacts their present.
  • Revealing a World – How can we use characters to reveal a world?
Finding Your Inner Editor:
  • Editing, Editing, Editing – Editing can be your best friend and worst enemy.
  • Brick-By-Brick – Perfecting plot during editing is like a jigsaw.
  • Getting Emotive – The importance of emotion and a few ways to show it.
  • Showing The Senses – Considering the different ways we can use the senses.
  • Let’s Get Less Busy – Looking at different ways to streamline action.
  • Keeping it Short – Looking at experimenting with short fiction to improve our self-editing skills.
  • Exposing Exposition – Considering what exposition is and how to use it.
  • Adding Atmosphere – Looking at ways to create atmosphere in fiction.
  • Dicey Description – Looking at the different ways to use description
  • Differing Description – Wading through the depthsof description and considering the pros and cons of different techniques
  • Editing Others – Looking at points to consider when editing other people’s writing.
  • Building a World – The basics of world building.
  • Elements of Editing – A look at my personal method of self-editing using Hysteria from Victorian Mistress as an example.
Simplifying Self-Publishing:
  • Writing a Weekly Serial – Mistakes I’ve made so you don’t have to.
  • Year of The Weekly Serial – What I’ve learnt from my first year of serialising fiction.
  • Starting Self-Publishing – Where can we begin on our journey? What options are there?
  • Finding The Format – How do we format a manuscript for an editor/agent or for publication?
History of Literature:
  • Sex and Censorship – Surprises lurk in every story.
  • Considering the Classics – How time has change literature and theatre.
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