Clarifying Character Revisited

This week we're looking at what we mean by active characters, how you don't need a complete backstory to begin, and we consider character arcs. Monday - Active, Not Reactive, Characters need to cause action, not simply react to it. Tuesday - Individualising The Individual, Everything about a character says something. Wednesday - Building a … Continue reading Clarifying Character Revisited


In The Wind

Lot discovers a box of secrets. Read the first part of today's double bill here. London – 1844 Tessa wasn’t in her room at the brothel. I hadn’t expected her to be. I dug around through her wardrobe and drawers tipping clothes on the floor, rummaging through boxes of trinkets; faded tickets, flyers, bits of … Continue reading In The Wind

Puzzle Pieces

A meeting with Freyja makes things clearer for Lot. London – 1844 ‘Still watching the ducks?’ I said and sat down beside Freyja on the bank of The Serpentine. ‘How else would you find me to say thank you?’ she asked. ‘What would I want to thank you for?’ ‘I got rid of your little … Continue reading Puzzle Pieces

The Nellyphant in the Room

Lot tries to think up a plan but gets interrupted by the pitter-patter of tiny feet. London – 1844 If Gale had been anyone else I would have chased her down, but I couldn’t catch her if I didn’t have a plan to stop her draining energy. Getting drained of all our energy wasn’t the … Continue reading The Nellyphant in the Room

Safe Place

Lot, Bran, and Josef discover toddlers have no consideration for strategy meetings. Read the first part of today's double bill here. London – 1844 What we wanted when we got home was a strategy meeting. What we got was Bran walking around the library reading area rocking a crying Edward against his shoulder with vomit … Continue reading Safe Place

Taking a Gamble

Lot and Josef track down Gale in their search for answers. London - 1844 ‘Is this how people do courting these days?’ Josef asked, leaning against the bar. ‘I have absolutely no idea,’ I replied. We were in another gambling den following Gale, who was on a winning streak. It was hot, crowded, and loud, … Continue reading Taking a Gamble

Trimming the Fat Revisited

Part of making speech successful in prose is by cutting out the unnecessary bits. As I’ve mentioned before characters don’t have to say hello every time they walk into a scene and readers will accept it. Other things to watch out for can be repetition, verbosity, too many umms and ahhs. Even if we have … Continue reading Trimming the Fat Revisited

Adding Some Sparkle Revisited

Now we've looked at the technical side of dialogue lets start considering the how we bring it to life: Monday - Individualising Speech, What do we mean by this? Tuesday - Trimming the Fat, Keeping things direct. Wednesday - Building Banter, Having back and forth between characters. Thursday - A Phrasing All Their Own, Considering … Continue reading Adding Some Sparkle Revisited

Night Hauntings

WARNING: Some sexual content. Lot soothes fears and Josef voices a suspicion. London – 1844 I climbed through the bedroom window and sat on the ledge. Bran was lying on his front with the sheets twisted and thrown off and his nightshirt had ridden up his legs just short of his rear. He wasn’t asleep, … Continue reading Night Hauntings

Grammar in Speech Revisited

Speech doesn’t need to be grammatical because people don’t speak grammatically. The say things the wrong way round, use the wrong words, misuse phrases, punctuate places that defy ‘the rules’ and do all sorts of different things that you wouldn’t expect. There can be a point where arguably it’s possible to go too far, however, … Continue reading Grammar in Speech Revisited