L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

Powerfully portrayed settings seem to have a life of their own, but how is that effect achieved? Here are five keys to teach you how to make your setting a character in your story or novel that goes beyond invoking the five senses in description. Donald Maass In great fiction, the setting lives from the …

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The entire course of a story or novel, like an avalanche, is largely defined within its first seconds. Jacob Appel offers 10 ways to launch yours in the right direction. Jacob M. Appel The sentence you are currently reading has the potential to brand itself indelibly upon our cultural consciousness and to alter the course …

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Linda Newbery and Nicola Davies “Where do you get your ideas from?” Every author who gives talks to children or adults has been asked this question hundreds of times, and of course there’s no simple answer. Ideas are everywhere – the trick is to recognise a promising one when you get it, and not let …

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by Oliver Fox Have you ever tried to write a horror story and found the result wanting? In this post, we look at how the 3 pillars of horror can improve your horror story. It’s a difficult genre to do well. But why? All you have to do is create a monster and put it …

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Nancy Kress Most writers try to avoid writing flashbacks, but if you just can’t resist sending your readers back in time, fiction columnist Nancy Kress has some advice. Kress explains what makes a flashback work, and how to perfect your own time travelling techniques. Some stories behave conveniently for their authors: They take place in …

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Via The Guardian Elmore Leonard, Diana Athill, Margaret Atwood, Roddy Doyle, Helen Dunmore, Geoff Dyer, Anne Enright, Richard Ford, Jonathan Franzen, Esther Freud, Neil Gaiman, David Hare, PD James, AL Kennedy Elmore Leonard: Using adverbs is a mortal sin 1 Never open a book with weather. If it’s only to create atmosphere, and not a …

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One of the biggest bugaboos in manuscript submissions is when the author doesn’t properly introduce the protagonist within the first chapter. Here’s how to help readers meet your main character. Les Edgerton One of the biggest bugaboos in manuscript submissions is when the author doesn’t properly introduce the protagonist within the first chapter. Readers want …

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Written by MasterClass It’s easy to get overwhelmed as a new writer when you’re staring at the blank page wondering where to begin. The good news is there are many places you can find writing advice and tips that can help you strengthen your abilities and build confidence in yourself. Writing is a lifelong pursuit, …

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Death to clichés. Less is more. Writing is painful–here, the greats tell us how to do it better. By Belle Beth Cooper I’ve been reading some advice from successful writers lately and exploring what their routines are like to see what I can learn. Here are six of the most common pieces of advice I …

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By Andrew Solomon The following is adapted from a speech the author gave at the Whiting Writers’ Awards on March 5th. When I had just finished my schooling and was looking for a job, a friend put me in touch with an absurdly well-connected British biographer who, she assured me, would help me find the …

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