Writing

Online

Online writing communities

A look at the top five writing community sites currently helping authors improve their work and find readers.

Editing

How to Find an Editor on A Budget

You’ve finally finished your book and it’s time to start looking for an editor to polish your book into a diamond. Finding an editor can seem a daunting prospec...

UK Authors Earn £11,000 per Year

The BBC reports that the majority of UK authors only make £11,000 per year - more than £5,000 below the income level considered to be a socially acceptable stan...

Average advance now under £6600

The average advance for traditionally published authors is “well under £6,600”, according to early findings of a survey into authors’ attitudes towards their pu...
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What’s the story?

When, a few years ago, I started writing a book, friends would ask me what it was about. I’d say it was about a lot of things - a world where no one believes in anything, conspiracy theory, drugs, the lost dreams of the Sixties and Seventies - but that wasn’t what they wanted to hear. They wanted to know what the story was. In truth I didn’t have one. I thought I could write a novel based on ideas rather than character and story.

Getting Inside Your Characters’ Heads

This piece is written by Book Shed writer BillJustBill.

An important technique that I think generally is most helpful in understanding what you’re doing (and need to do in any particular fictional situation) is get very deeply into the head of your characters, particularly your main character. Some people can do this and some people can’t, but I certainly think it’s something that can be learned, because I’ve learned to do it, at least more or less and to some extent. And of course I’m still learning.

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Writing a Synopsis

Writing a synopsis is often seen by authors as being the hardest part of putting together a package and submitting your work to agents and publishers. It doesn't have to be dull, if you take some time to plan your approach and edit/rewrite it with the same passion you apply to the novel itself.

Writers will spend years writing, lovingly polishing and then marketing a novel, and yet they shrug off the synopsis with a comment like "I hate writing synopses."

“Show” and “Tell” and the Hook

 
It's one of the drum beats of the online writing boards: show don't tell.

The inner urge to set the scene, to explain, to paint a picture of the endlessly clever fantasy world you've just created, this impulse can be almost irresistible. Usually it's not a great idea.