Looking at the Big Picture – Are Your Character Motivations Working?

Sometimes when you’re editing, you can find yourself spending so much time focusing on the line by line detail that you lose track of the big picture. It’s something I’ve had a lot of trouble with writing my second novel, Cradlesnatch, partly because it’s taking so long to get the first draft down on paper. I find I lose track of the story’s inner connections.

I wasn’t sure what to do about the problem. When I’m sitting at the computer all I see is the section of manuscript I’m working on. It felt like I needed to make room in my head to get a grasp of the story as a whole. So I started taking afternoon walks. Continue reading

Getting to Grips with Your Character’s Inner Workings

Creating a believable character is a fundamental part of writing fiction. Unfortunately we can’t simply ‘assemble’ a character like the parts of a car.

Taking Character Apart

Here’s a great post on Kim’s Crafty Blog about how to write character: Character in Fiction: A Set of Approaches

Picture c/o Hovercraftdoggy

Is This Politically Correct?


The idea of political correctness can be a bit of a hot potato. However, one of the most valuable things I’ve learnt from working with an editor has been the importance of being sensitive to stereotyping, particularly when writing for children and young adults. Continue reading

‘Show Not Tell’ – A How To Guide

It takes courage to write. Facing that blank page can be difficult enough in itself. Finding the words to express your scene goal, mix more conflict into a line of dialogue, or add a perfect detail of description is no easy task. But fiction is more than plot, character and setting. Great fiction has emotion and that emotion comes from the heart and soul of the writer.

But it isn’t a simple matter of ‘telling’ the reader about the emotions a character is experiencing, instead we are told to ‘show’ them. It is a phrase often used, but not always easy to put into practice. So I thought I’d share a few techniques I’ve developed to help me ‘show’ the emotions in my stories, rather than ‘tell’ them. Continue reading

Writing a Fight Scene

It’s been a long journey, but I’ve finally reached the last section of my novel, Cradlesnatch, and what I need to do now is write a fabulous ending. In an adventure story that usually means writing a kick-ass fight scene.

However, I’ve been having a bit of difficulty getting it on paper, so I decided to step back and ponder how best to go about things.  Here’s what I’ve come up with. Continue reading

Finding your Muse – by Sarah Singleton

Today I’m delighted to welcome YA author, Sarah Singleton, to the blog with some very helpful advice on finding inspiration.

Images and Stories

Almost every story I’ve written has emerged from the seed of a visual image, and sometimes a series of images. Usually these images are pictures that flash into my imagination, seemingly from nowhere. Century, for example, began when I saw, in my mind, a spread of frosty fields, a pre-dawn sky, and a small pond lidded with ice beneath which the ghost of a woman in a white dress was floating…

From this image the entire story flowed. I asked myself a series of questions. Continue reading

Karen McCombie on Dialogue

Today I’m thrilled to welcome Karen McCombie, author of the best selling Ally’s World series, who has some wonderful things to say about getting your characters talking. In celebration of her guest post, I’m also giving away a copy of ‘Dialogue’ by Gloria Kempton. All you have to is subscribe to the blog. I’ll put the names in a hat then pull one out on 1st August and announce the winner.

Anyhow, enough of competitions, let’s settle down and listen to what Karen has to say: Continue reading