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How do you develop the theme of your novel? And does theme matter?

It’s time for another of our authors’ Round Robin posts, and this month we have another thought-provoking topic set by author Rhobin Courtright… ‘Most novels have an easily understood point to make to the reader. Do your stories ever have more subtle themes?’ When I first start a novel, I’m not consciously aware of what…… Continue reading How do you develop the theme of your novel? And does theme matter?

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How do you develop realistic characters who are different from yourself?

It’s time for another of our authors’ Round Robins, and this month the topic is… How do you develop a character who is different in personality from all the other characters you have developed, or from yourself? If you’ve followed my blog for a while you’ll know I’m a big fan of Georgette Heyer and…… Continue reading How do you develop realistic characters who are different from yourself?

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Editing Tips: How to Focus Your Story and Keep Readers Turning the Pages

In my work as a fiction editor I often give writers the same piece of advice: focus, focus, focus on your core story. There, I said ‘focus’ three times. And here’s an image of someone focusing, too. That’s how important I think it is! What do I mean by ‘focus on the story’? Well, a…… Continue reading Editing Tips: How to Focus Your Story and Keep Readers Turning the Pages

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Three of the best books for fiction writers on the craft of writing

No matter what stage you’re at with your writing – whether still at the first draft, or with dozens of books to your name – there’s always something new to learn about the craft of writing. Besides writing, I also work as a freelance editor. (In fact, for quite a while now the editing has…… Continue reading Three of the best books for fiction writers on the craft of writing

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7 tips for self-editing your book

It’s time for this month’s authors’ Round Robin, and author Robin Courtright has set us another excellent topic… How do you self-edit your books before submitting or publishing? When I wrote my first novel I knew very little about the editing process. In my naivety, I thought editing involved checking for spelling mistakes and picking…… Continue reading 7 tips for self-editing your book

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#Writing: How to keep focused on the central idea of your story, and why it matters

When I’m editing fiction and making notes in the margins of a manuscript, there are a couple of comments I make more often than any others. One of them is ‘show, don’t tell’, and another is ‘focus on the story’. What’s my book about? A piece of advice I often give to writers is to…… Continue reading #Writing: How to keep focused on the central idea of your story, and why it matters

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Developing secondary characters, and some classic secondary characters from film and literature

A belated happy New Year – and apologies for the gap in blog posts for a whole month. First there was Christmas, then a virus and then moving house. I’m really glad to be back on track, and ready for the first authors’ Round Robin of the year! And this month the topic is ……… Continue reading Developing secondary characters, and some classic secondary characters from film and literature

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Three essentials for creating page-turning tension in your novel #amwriting #writetip

Creating a page-turning read is the topic for this month’s Round Robin… How do you develop the tension every story needs to keep the reader involved? This is such an excellent question. There are so many elements to this that at first I felt overwhelmed. Then I decided to follow my own advice in a…… Continue reading Three essentials for creating page-turning tension in your novel #amwriting #writetip

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How to edit the first draft of your novel (without crying and deleting it) #writetip

You’ve finished your first draft and typed ‘The End’. If you’re anything like me, you’ll feel a massive sense of achievement, along with relief. But then you start to read it over, and with a sinking heart you realise it’s utter rubbish. You force yourself to stop panicking. Of course it’s rubbish – that’s what…… Continue reading How to edit the first draft of your novel (without crying and deleting it) #writetip