Women have not always been portrayed well in fiction, with female characters often being relegated to little more than objects or plot devices. Real-life women grew tired of their fictional counterparts always being in in need of rescue or stuffed into refrigerators, and the Strong Female Character was born. But this trope can still be problematic.

4 Signs Your Strong Female Character Might Still be a Sexist Stereotype

Women have not always been portrayed well in fiction, with female characters often being relegated to little more than objects or plot devices. Real-life women grew tired of their fictional counterparts always being in in need of rescue or stuffed into refrigerators, and the Strong Female Character was born. The Strong Female Character archetype was well-intended. … Read more

6 Ways to Use Your Protagonist’s Sidekick

Ah the sidekick. Dimwitted menace or valuable tool? Many sidekicks are written poorly and with the primary role of providing comic relief or making the protagonist look good. This sort of sidekick can work in some forms of fiction, but is mostly unsympathetic. But writers are sometimes afraid that making their sidekick competent will make … Read more

Books make the best writing teachers. So what lessons can we learn from Six of Crows?

2 Storytelling Lessons from SIX OF CROWS

I read the first chapter of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo for #FirstChapterFriday and enjoyed it so much that I decided to read the rest of the book. I loved it and, as I can never turn off my editor brain, I pulled out two great storytelling lessons this book has to teach writers. 1. Don’t … Read more

In this video I bring you three characterisation techniques using examples from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling. Learn how word choice, actions and dialogue can help you develop your characters!

3 Characterisation Tips from Harry Potter

In this video I bring you three characterisation techniques using examples from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. Learn how word choice, actions and dialogue can help you develop your characters! Check out:

I don’t like character questionnaires and profiles because knowing things about someone is completely different to knowing someone and if you're going to follow a character through a story you need to know who they are. Characters navigate the plot by making decisions and acting, and it's important to be able to anticipate what these decisions and actions might be if you want your character to be consistent. But, where do you start to develop a character?

How to Develop a Character

(Video transcript) I don’t like character questionnaires and profiles because knowing things about someone is completely different to knowing someone and if you’re going to follow a character through a story you need to know who they are. Characters navigate the plot by making decisions and acting, and it’s important to be able to anticipate … Read more

In my last video I talked about how difficult it is to start a story from just an idea and that it's best to develop that idea into a premise before you start writing or you'll have an increased chance of getting stuck. But while a premise might tell us what our story is about, it doesn't tell us much about what's going to happen. Many writers can take the premise and run with it, but not everyone works the same. If your premise hasn't got the plot cogs turning yet, how do you start? And when you do start, where do you go?

How to Turn a Story Premise into a Plan

How to Turn a Story Premise into a Plan (Video transcript) In my last video I talked about how difficult it is to start a story from just an idea and that it’s best to develop that idea into a premise before you start writing or you’ll have an increased chance of getting stuck. But while … Read more

Books make the best writing teachers. What lessons can we learn from this book?

4 Storytelling Lessons from THE SIN EATER’S DAUGHTER

After reading the first chapter of the Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury for #FirstChapterFriday, I decided to finish the book. The first chapter started out great, but I noted that the second half of it took a bad turn and hoped that the story would right itself in the following chapters. It didn’t. Here are … Read more

As long as you're not head hopping, writing your story from more than one point of view opens a range of possibilities for making your story more interesting. Some stories work better when you stick to one point of view, but if you want to do a bit of experimenting, here are some ways that multiple viewpoints can enrich your novel.

6 Ways Using More Than One Viewpoint Can Enrich Your Novel

As long as you’re not head hopping, writing your story from more than one point of view opens a range of possibilities for making your story more interesting. Some stories work better when you stick to one point of view, but if you want to do a bit of experimenting, here are some ways that … Read more

What better way to learn about storytelling than by studying other stories? What can we learn from I Am Legend?

4 Storytelling Lessons from I AM LEGEND (the movie)

SPOILERS AHEAD I like using examples when writing about storytelling techniques and found a few good ones when watching I Am Legend the other day. Movies and books aren’t the same thing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn anything about storytelling from watching a movie. Here are the lessons I Am Legend has to … Read more

Character's aren't believable if they're not motivated. Here are 5 places to look for your character's motivation.

5 Places to Look for your Character’s Motivation

What is motivation and why is it important? Motivation is the reason your characters do the things they do. Characters need to have a solid motivation for all the decisions they make throughout the story, but when developing your main characters, the most important motivation you need to give them is the motivation to participate … Read more