Show Don’t Tell - a Writer's Guide

 

'Show don’t tell' is an important rule for all writers of fiction. Showing rather than explaining things allows the reader to join the dots for themselves, which readers love to do. Showing is vivid for the reader - it unfolds…

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What is Dystopian Fiction? 

Dystopian fiction is a particular kind of science fiction. Whereas science fiction can be about intergalactic travel, off-world adventures, spaceships and futuristic technology, dystopian fiction is always situated on our Earth, ‘somewhen’ in the future. Dystopian fiction is therefore a…

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‘Clunky prose’, and how to avoid writing it 

The expression ‘clunky prose’ is often used by writing coaches and editors. It describes prose which is clumsily written. We’ve all been guilty of using clunky prose at some point, which is why the phrase is so commonly used. Aspiring…

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What is a line edit?

 

 

A line edit (sometimes referred to as a copy edit) addresses a manuscript line-by-line, putting right any little errors, removing repetitions, correcting mistakes in punctuation, and anything else required to perfect the prose. Sometimes, longer sentences might need breaking down…

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Do I need a writing coach?

 

 

I’m delighted to have recently been appointed a coaching Mentor for Jericho Writers, alongside my regular freelance editing and coaching work. I’m a huge fan of mentoring/coaching, because it turned me from an aspiring novelist into a mainstream published…

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How do I write decent Women Characters?

Writing decent women characters is vital for the modern novelist, because surveys tell us that sixty per cent of all readers are female. The majority of editorial and commissioning staff in publishing houses today are also women. This means that…

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The Day I Burned My Books

Many years ago, when my bookshelves were filled with ‘how to’ manuals on developing character, with titles like 'Write a Million', I remember struggling with the popular wisdom that writers should make a ‘character board’ for every character they invent…

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