(Author's note: This is a bit of a break from my usual posts but, after reading 1984 for the first time, I felt inspired to write this. I'm not used to writing this sort of thing so please be gentle) When someone is asked how Big Brother keeps control in 1984, they’re quick to point… Continue reading Big Brother is Gaslighting You
by Kelsie Engen You’re standing on one mountain summit, and there are fifty miles between the next mountaintop to which you’re expected to jump. Any step you take, any direction, and you’re going to go crashing to the ground, lucky to escape with your life. There will be bruises, broken bones, broken pride, despair, […] via… Continue reading 3 Tips From My Failure As an Author — A Writer’s Path
I've just finished looking over another redraft of my novel. I'm on the fourth redraft at the moment and I'm curious to know: when does redrafting stop being redrafting and start being nitpicking/over-perfectionism/denial-that-the-book-just-isn't-good? I've heard stories of writers rewriting a story as many as nine times before they're satisfied but I'd like to hear how… Continue reading Novel Writing Questions No. 8: How many redrafts are enough redrafts?
After months of saying I'd do it and letting other things get in the way, I've finally drawn some pictures for my reviews. I don't think they're good enough to warrant such a delay but I'm so fed up of seeing them bare so I decided to finally do some, regardless of quality, and open… Continue reading Announcement: Improvements to my reviews site
Okay, I'm moving away from structure questions and more into pre-writing questions. When you're writing a novel, do you write the world first or the story first? If you're writing a fantasy or science fiction novel set in an alternate universe or a different planet, the choice may seem obvious but, if you want a… Continue reading Novel Writing Questions No. 7: World-Planning Or Story-Planning First
(Apologies for the bad image) I've just finished reading Night Watch by Terry Pratchett. Like the other Discworld books, this one doesn't have any chapters. You'd think that this would cripple a book, leaving no convenient place for a reader to leave off for the day and risking confusion when the scene changes. Yet, in Night Watch,… Continue reading Novel Writing Question No.6: Do we even need chapters anyway?
Okay, back in question 2, the comments suggested that naming the chapters is now out of style as this can give away the story but combining that with a table of contents can certainly spoil the story before the reader has got off the first page. That's why I normally skip a contents page when… Continue reading Novel Writing Questions No. 5: A Contents Page?
Prologues can serve a variety of purposes. They can also be 'teasers' of the main action, even a 'teaser' of the ending (I'll write more about that later) or even a way to set up a red herring to fool the audience into following the wrong lead. If it's a crime novel, it could be… Continue reading Novel Writing Question 4: Do I need a prologue?
In some of the books I've read (like American Gods, which I'm currently reading), the story is split in to different parts, usually three. I think this is a callback to when novels were released in volumes (like Jane Eyre) rather than in one block. Nowadays, they can serve to divide up the narrative. It's a… Continue reading Novel Writing Questions 3: Volumes, Parts and Other Dividers
As nearly all authors do, I've split my novel into chapters. But, should I name them? Is just 'Chapter 1' okay? If not, what should I use? The date, time and setting? Some clever word play? Or give away everything like the novels of old? Let me know in the comments below.