Monday 28 September 2015

Frankenwriter: How to Bring Your Character's Voice To Life

By Kathryn Evans
Kathryn Evans - New Girl On The Blog

Learning the mechanics of story is pretty straightforward.  Basically you need a Beginning, a Middle and an End. OK, it’s slightly more complicated than that but there are many excellent resources that’ll break it down for you – our own Maureen Lynas tells you how in Five Bricks of Story and Life and Seven Steps for Plotting and Pacing 

You can even buy software programmes to help: the Snowflake method has been recommended to me on a couple of occasions.

You can learn all this, you can follow it to the letter, and then you can read your story and find it is a dead thing. You may have the mechanics but where is the heart? Where is the spark? Where do you get the bolt of lightening that allows your Frankenbook to rise from the table and live, LIVE, LIVE!

Monday 21 September 2015

Notes from the Critique Group - Awesome First Lines

By Maureen Lynas

The second post highlighting literary issues raised in critique groups. This came up recently at our SCBWI BI critique group in York.

Awesome first lines

What are we aiming for?

I've written an awesome first line that will wow the agents and engage the reader.
I've written an appropriate first line that will wow the agents and engage the reader.

We've seen some amazing first lines in our critique group. Lines that have that wow factor. Lines that we've loved, admired and wished we'd written.

Unfortunately, they weren't always appropriate for the story that followed. They set a tone, an expectation, a hint of a totally different story, a totally different world, and genre. It's so easy to fall into the trap of creating a darling but a first line has a job to do so you may have to assassinate yours.

Monday 14 September 2015

Making things up: because I’m a writer, and that’s what they do

by Teri Terry
Teri/computer hybrid
Making Things Up: a new blog series about the creative process

I haven’t blogged for Slushies in ages – sorry! One of the reasons – the main one, really – is because I’d hit a point where I felt like I didn’t have anything useful to say to aspiring writers, our original target audience. 

Note: please keep reading even if you fit another category – as a blog, we’ve grown!

Monday 7 September 2015

Keeping the Darkness on the Page - a Writer’s Guide to Building Resilience

By Nick Cross

To the uninitiated, writing appears to be a simple process of putting words onto the page. But the fact that I’ve re-written the sentence you’ve just read six times seems to indicate that perhaps it’s not that easy. To write well requires us to make a deep personal connection with the material, and this is where the trouble starts.

Ernest Hemingway famously said:
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

A trifle melodramatic, you might think, and just imagine the mess it caused to the internal workings of his typewriter! But we understand exactly what he meant. And there’s another use of the word “bleed” that is even more pertinent to the writing experience – the way that our daily experiences, ideas and emotions bleed into our work. Writing is not an activity that respects boundaries, in fact it actively thrives on recycling our happiest and saddest moments, tapping into our deepest fears and exposing our most shameful thoughts.

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