Creating Characters

This week we're looking at character description: How much, when, and what do with do with big groups of characters? Monday - To Describe or Not to Describe, Looking at different degrees of description and avoiding info dumps. Tuesday - Description Through Interaction, Considering ways to break up description by using interaction. Wednesday - Sticky Side-Characters, How much description do we … Continue reading Creating Characters


Resting The Reader

A mentioned in previous articles whether our stories are character driven or plot driven we need moments in the story where we let the reader process events. The problem with pace is finding the balance between too fast and too slow, this is further complicated by the fact that different stories have different paces. We … Continue reading Resting The Reader

Slowing With Showing

As we discussed in the previous article despite some assumptions that telling is bad and showing is better, it’s not that simple. In the previous article we discussed how telling can be used to increase the pace where it is often assumed to slow it. We can also slow the pace of a story through … Continue reading Slowing With Showing

Speed Through Sentences

As I mentioned in the previous article sentences can change the pace of prose depending on how long or short they are. Once again I’ll mention that the general rule is that the longer a sentence is the slower it reads and the shorter it is the faster it reads. This isn’t always true, a … Continue reading Speed Through Sentences

Pacing Through Paragraphs

Length of sentences, paragraphs and chapters can affect the speed at which the reader reads. The general rule is that the shorter they are the faster they read, and the longer they are the slower they read (for a discussion of this in relation to chapters try Chipping at Chapters). Shorter paragraphs can also be … Continue reading Pacing Through Paragraphs

Pacing Prose

This week we're looking at pacing in prose using structure, telling and showing. And Lot is back for another episode of Nine Shillings on Saturday. Keep an eye on these coming soon posts for details of the pre-Christmas Fiction Frenzy. (I know it's only October, sorry) Monday - Pacing Through Paragraphs, A look at the way paragraph structure changes … Continue reading Pacing Prose

Exposition By Character

When I say exposition by character I don’t necessarily mean exposition where one character explains something to another, though this is a perfectly valid technique, but what I mean is character moments. We can reveal a lot about a character through what they say and do, particularly when they interact with other characters. While we … Continue reading Exposition By Character

Exposition by Footnote

We can use footnotes in fiction, a lot of early novelist from the UK and Ireland used them, but they can be tricky to employ in modern fiction. Nowadays the footnote is largely associated with academia either referencing book titles or inserting extra information about a subject. The problem with footnotes is that it can … Continue reading Exposition by Footnote

Exposition By The Chapter

Is it a bad thing to do exposition by the chapter? Not always. Exposition by the chapter may be problematic if we’re writing ‘this happened because’ or ‘this works like that because’ and is simply a long explanation of something in the story. However, a chapter of exposition might be a flashback or a side-story. … Continue reading Exposition By The Chapter