Archives for creative writing

10 Tips for Overcoming Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is a figment of our imaginations. There is no shortage of ideas. The source of the writer’s creative frustrations is the same source of nearly every person’s perceived hindrance in all walks of life. It’s fear. Fear of failure, being rejected, being laughed at, heckled by peers or whatever. You have ideas, probably great ones. We all have ideas. It is only when we start comparing our ideas to those of Stephen King or Michael Crichton that we freeze up and second guess ourselves. But as with every other facet of life, there is a fine line to
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What’s your crutch word?

I don’t know if it’s just me or other authors also have a certain word that they inadvertently repeat while writing. After I wrote my very first draft, I realized that my crutch word was ‘felt‘. My editor had pointed it out to me. I understand that writing is best done spontaneously and not if you are constantly aware of what you might be doing wrong. It disturbs the flow if you write consciously. However, while self-editing, one should be aware of their crutch words (if any). While revising your script you can then easily do a search on those
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8 Tips for Polishing Your Fiction

I always enjoy working on draft 2. Sure, draft 1 can be full of surprises, discovery and moments of brilliance (or least if feels like brilliance at the time) but it can also be quite a taxing task. Draft 2 is more like the second time you make a new recipe: you’ve worked out what works and what doesn’t and can’t wait to try it again, this time with fewer mistakes. That’s not to say that drafts 3 to 3,000 won’t have their moments of difficulty, but they exist to continuously refine what drafts 1 and 2 have established. Now,
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Time for a Selfie! (A newbie’s guide to the Self-Edit)

I often use the analogy of movies when talking about writing novels because they do have a number of things in common. This is yet another, although here there is a marked difference. This is yet another one, although here there is a marked difference. Without a doubt this is possibly the most soul-destroying event any new writer will experience. When making a movie, the Director will film many takes that will not end up in the final version of the film. These could be because the actors made a mistake, burst out laughing in the middle of filming, or
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I think I should warn you about something…

In my last article about Show and Tell (here), I briefly mentioned Foreshadowing. I have been inundated by five emails demanding I explain a little more about this useful writing tool. So here goes… Many eons ago, shortly after the dinosaurs died out, I decided to become a writer. Little did I know what the future held in store for me… That’s foreshadowing for you. What have I just done? I have created tension, expectancy in my readers – yes, I’ve manipulated their emotional response again and pressed the ‘Reader Engagement’ button. Now that’s just one way you can use
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Let’s go to the Movies!

If you are new to this fiction writing business, chances are you will have heard a short phrase repeated frequently and cited as part of the MUST DO rules for authors. Yes, I’m talking about SHOW, DON’T TELL! If you are lucky, you have come across this gem of advice on a writer’s blog where they will have provided a few examples. Sometimes these examples are useful insights into how to put this into practice. On other occasions, however, the extracts only serve to confuse the matter even further because they are usually presented without any detailed explanation.   If
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Keep marching on!

I was going to start writing my new book today but paused to write this article. Sometimes you have an urge to share a thought that occurs to you and I tend to follow my urge. I compared my fiction writing skills to an Indian classical dance that I learned from my teacher a few years back. There was no question about my dedication to learn the dance for a stage performance but the issue was that it was a tough dance to learn which took years for people to master. When I thought I had learned it, my teacher
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Finding the right expression

As romance writers we are always writing emotional stories and it can sometimes be a challenge to find the right expression for developing and showing all the emotions that the characters in our stories are experiencing. When I am writing my first draft, I don’t want to worry about finding the right expression because it might slow me down or I might lose my train of thought. What I do when writing my first draft is I mark in my word processor [THESAURUS] wherever I need to revisit the emotions later on when I am done drafting my scene or
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Tips on self-editing fiction books

Self-editing is a very important component in fiction writing. Spend some time editing your story after you have completed it. Here are a few pointers to make that happen:  Several Rounds – Take one aspect of the story and read the entire story keeping that aspect in mind, for example, is your character behaving consistently? Did you use all five senses appropriately? Repeat the process until you have reviewed for all aspects. You will be surprised how much you find and change in every round. If you try to do everything in one go, you will likely miss quite a
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Originality – a writing challenge?

Like most writers, I have a small cadre of faithful proof-readers who are willing to battle their way through a Second Draft of one of my thrillers, hunting down any typos, missing punctuation, and plot points that just don’t work. Often, as they see I do listen to them, they proffer comments about the book’s theme. When I sent out the draft of ‘the CULL’, I was surprised that several of their observations coincided. They were all along the lines of “Not another bloody vampire novel. There’re thousands of them out there already. Can’t you write something more original?” That
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