Tag Archives: novels

How to Intertwine Plot, Character, and Theme in Every Scene – by K.M. Weiland…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Helping Writers Become Authors:

If plot, character, and theme are the foundational underpinnings of story itself, then they must be present in every scene as well, right?

But that gets tricky.

How can you make surethese elements are doing their job in every scene?

And if they’re not present in every scene, does that necessarily mean the scene is problematic?

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15 Ways to Make Your Characters Suffer (for the Good of Your Novel) – by Ali Luke…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Aliventures site:

Do your characters suffer enough?

Even if you’re writing a light and fluffy romance, at some point, someone in your novel is going to need to get hurt.

I’m not suggesting all-out graphic torture here, obviously – unless that suits your genre. Suffering comes in a lot of different forms – and I’m going to go through a bunch of those in a moment.

In general, making characters suffer should do at least one, ideally both, of these:

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Five tips for writing good prose

Nail Your Novel

How do we learn to write good prose? Indeed, what is it? How do we develop our use of language, play our literary instrument with more elan and flair?

We were probably all encouraged at school to use difficult words instead of simple ones. I see plenty of work that still seems in thrall to that, thinking that ‘printable writing’ must mean to use the thesaurus as often as possible.

Now I’ll happily use a thesaurus to find the bon mot that’s slipped my mind. But we’ve all seen writing that waxes far too lyrical, looks self-conscious and overdone.

The other huge sin is tortuous obfuscation, as if the writer is trying to prove they are clever. Just for a giggle, look at this example in The Philosophy and Literature Bad Writing Contest. Here’s a taster:

If, for a while, the ruse of desire is calculable for the uses…

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Don’t throw out the baby! Why #Amazon doesn’t want your #BookReviews

Barb Taub

An open letter to Amazon:

Dear Amazon,

I should be your Holy Grail. I’m the real deal, an actual reader who goes through books carefully, thinks about what they mean and how they’re written, and then writes a considered, thoughtful, and hopefully helpful analysis—in other words, I’m a book reviewer.

Writers, potential customers, publishers, and oh yes—you, Amazon—should be jumping for joy and giving thanks that I’ve taken hours to read and yet more hours to craft reviews for hundreds of books. Instead, Amazon, you’ve decided to punish reviewers like me.

In the name of discouraging “fake” reviews, your new policy requires reviewers like me to spend $50 on Amazon’s US site and even more, £40 on Amazon UK before I can share my review. Have you thought about other solutions, or the effect this will have on legitimate reviewers?

Amazon has figured out how to conduct millions of legitimate…

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The 5 Traits That All Successful Authors Share – Kobo Writing Life…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

If you want to be a 100 metre sprinter, you need more than just the sort of quick-twitch fibres that’ll carry you to the finish line in around 10 seconds. If you’re hoping to become an actor the ability to convey stylized emotion is a non-negotiable, but it alone won’t get you drowned out by the orchestra after you’ve gone over-time on your Oscar acceptance speech.

Success in these pursuits, like any that strive for greatness, must be a result of both inherent natural ability and the sort of work ethic that can turn even the most talented professional into just another journeyman.

But what of writers? Obviously the ability to throw words together is a major part of becoming a Dickens, but what other traits do successful authors share?

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