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Showing posts from November, 2015

Writing that Sizzling Opening

“If you don’t know where to begin your story, try introducing readers to the protagonist’s unmet desire, vividly show them the location, and give them something to worry about.” Steven James, Story Trumps Structure Getting started is the toughest… you’ve written so many openings that just fizzled… right? I've written the opening to my next novel about 10 times and it's still not quite right. I'm trying not to agonize too much. I'm hoping that the perfect opening will hit me once I'm well underway.  I'm sure I'll re-write it a hundred times before I'm happy with it… and then re-write it again! Looking for inspiration I just grabbed a couple of my favourite novels off my book shelf and then headed to Amazon and took advantage of the 'look inside' option of some best sellers. Here are a few I came across that definitely grabbed my attention (a few contemporary and a few classics): “When the first bullet hit my chest, I tho

7 Steps to Outlining Your Novel

“First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!”  Ray Bradbury Over the past five years, which is actually when I started writing fiction, I have grappled with the question of whether I’m a plotter or a pantser. You know, the plotter being the writer who is keen to develop the entire plotline, laying points on a graph, identifying the ‘inciting incident’ and all the ‘energetic markers’ and where they appear, above or below the plot line; and the pantser being the writer who writes by the seat of his or her pants. I definitely pantsed my way through my first novel and then got stuck mid-way through my second and the only way I could get unstuck was to complete a chapter outline. Not necessarily a plotter move, but somewhere in the middle. My favourite - supposedly JK Rowling's outline for Order of the Phoenix So here I sit, happily in the middle, swaying from one side to the other, as needed. When preparing for my recent Paradise Writers’ Retreat , I de