#FirstChapterFriday January 2017 | Every Friday, I read the first chapter of a book I’ve never read before to learn how to write a first chapter that will make readers want to read chapter two. These are the lessons I learned in January 2017.

First Chapter Friday #10 (January 2017)

Don’t know what #FirstChapterFriday is? Shadow and Bone, Leigh Bardugo The good I liked the writing and the lack of info dumping, especially since this is fantasy and the reader needs to learn the context, world and premise. The first sentence was long, which I would normally complain about, but it was simple enough to … Read moreFirst Chapter Friday #10 (January 2017)

Writing Rules Explained: Said is Dead/ Only Use Said | Tips from a freelance book editor about whether or not said is dead. A must watch for writers who aren’t sure how to tag their dialogue.

Writing Rules Explained: Said is Dead / Only Use Said

“Said is dead,” says one camp. “Only use said,” says another. So which rule should we follow? The erroneous death of said Some writers think said is dead because it’s overused, but if using a word a lot means we need to expunge it from our vocabularies, why are irregardless and misunderestimate still kicking? As … Read moreWriting Rules Explained: Said is Dead / Only Use Said

4 Storytelling Lessons from STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE | Analysing other stories can help you develop your own storytelling skills. What storytelling lessons can we learn from STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE?

4 Storytelling Lessons from Star Wars: A New Hope

I’ve always had a problem with criticism of the Star Wars prequel trilogy because what most people think are problems really aren’t, but after reading criticism of Rogue One, I’ve decided to break my silence. Let me preface by saying that I was introduced to Star Wars by my parents when I was a child in the early … Read more4 Storytelling Lessons from Star Wars: A New Hope

8 Things to Do When Contacting a Freelance Editor for Your Novel | Are you ready to contact a freelance editor for your novel? Don’t forget to do these 8 things.

8 Things to do When Contacting a Freelance Editor for Your Novel

Organising a freelance book edit can be an exhausting and frustrating experience — I mean for me, not for you. I’m sure it’s daunting and scary for writers, but life for me as an editor (and, therefore, your book edit) would be a lot smoother if more people followed these guidelines when querying me. 1. … Read more8 Things to do When Contacting a Freelance Editor for Your Novel

#FirstChapterFriday December 2016 | Every Friday, I read the first chapter of a book I’ve never read before to learn how to write a first chapter that will make readers want to read chapter two. These are the lessons I learned in December 2016.

First Chapter Friday #9 (December 2016)

Don’t know what #FirstChapterFriday is? In the Skin of a Monster, Kathryn Barker The good The voice in this book was immediate and fantastic. I knew this girl immediately and was interested in what she was doing and what she had to say. I learnt about how three years beforehand, when they were both fourteen, … Read moreFirst Chapter Friday #9 (December 2016)

#FirstChapterFriday November 2016 | Every Friday, I read the first chapter of a book I’ve never read before to learn how to write a first chapter that will make readers want to read chapter two. These are the lessons I learned in November 2016.

First Chapter Friday #8 (November 2016)

Don’t know what #FirstChapterFriday is? Biblical, Christopher Galt In the last eight months of doing #FirstChapterFriday, I’ve found that it’s easier to be unimpressed by a first chapter than it is to be impressed by a first chapter. This prologue was only a few pages long—long enough for me to be able to form a negative … Read moreFirst Chapter Friday #8 (November 2016)

Writing Rules Explained: Make Every Word Count | Tips on why every word in your story should count, and how to make them count.

Writing Rules Explained: Make Every Word Count

Video transcript ‘Make every word count’ means that every word you use in your story should contribute to the story in some way. I’m not just talking about individual words here, but also sentences, paragraphs, scenes, chapters and subplots. Everything you write about should contribute to the ‘big picture’ of the story. Why? Let’s start … Read moreWriting Rules Explained: Make Every Word Count

#FirstChapterFriday October 2016 | Every Friday, I read the first chapter of a book I’ve never read before to learn how to write a first chapter that will make readers want to read chapter two. These are the lessons I learned in October 2016.

First Chapter Friday #7 (October 2016)

Don’t know what #FirstChapterFriday is? Cinder, Marissa Meyer Engaging first sentence? The screw through Cinder’s ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle. I found this sentence to be a classic “I overestimate how much my reader cares about my story and its characters”. I could picture something, which was great … Read moreFirst Chapter Friday #7 (October 2016)

Why You Shouldn’t Ask How to Find the Time to Write | A discussion about where to find the time to write, and why you shouldn’t be asking this question. A must read for writers who can’t find the time to write, and what to know how they can.

Why You Shouldn’t Ask How to Find the Time to Write

If you’re subscribed to my newsletter, you’re probably aware of how I can’t stand the question “How do I find the time to write?”. As part of the online writing community, I see this question asked at least once a week and I’m a little tired of it because … you can’t actually find time. Time … Read moreWhy You Shouldn’t Ask How to Find the Time to Write

Writing Rules Explained: Should we Follow Writing Rules? | The truth about writing rules. Why they exist, and why you should know what they are (they’re not what you think ;) ). A must watch for writers who refuse to learn writing rules.

Writing Rules Explained: Should We Follow Writing Rules?

(Video transcript) Not a fortnight goes by that I don’t read the comments section of an article about writing and find a comment spurning writing rules and advice of any kind and it grinds my gears. “Rules stifle creativity!” they proclaim. “They make you write for editors and not for yourself! Writing is an art and … Read moreWriting Rules Explained: Should We Follow Writing Rules?