L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

Midge Gillies and Tony Benn Viewpoint As you start to write your style will emerge. Before you begin you should have some idea of how much of you will appear in the book. If you’re writing a memoir nearly all of it may be written in the first person and yours may be the only …

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Linda Newbery, Michael Lawrence and Lauren Child The main characters in fiction for children and teenagers tend, not surprisingly, to be children and teenagers, though it’s not hard to find exceptions, such as Philip Pullman’s Once Upon a Time in the North. To write convincingly, whether in first- or third-person, you need to position yourself …

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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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No matter what sort of character name you’re pursuing, heed common sense and follow these seven tips to make sure you pick the best names possible for your story. Elizabeth Sims Choosing a character name for your novel is as pressure-filled as picking a name for a baby. It has to suit the character’s personality, …

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How do you recognize a good urban fantasy when you see one, and if you want to try your hand at writing one, what’s the basic recipe? Here are the ingredients you need. Mishell Baker Even if you don’t regularly haunt the science fiction and fantasy section of your local bookstore, chances are you’ve crossed …

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via Freewrite Did you grow up enthralled by the stories of the Pevensie children in Narnia or Frodo and Bilbo Baggins in Middle Earth? If you dreamed of one day creating your own fantasy world to base your novels in, this article is for you. We’ll be exploring some top tips for creating fantasy worlds, …

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Why do many thrillers fail to thrill? It’s usually from a lack of suspense. Novelist Leslie Lutz shares six tips to create suspense in a thriller novel. Leslie Lutz You’ve just finished reading a chapter of your thriller-in-progress to your beloved critique group, and after your writing friends get the compliments out of the way …

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David Corbett offers a case study of the concept of pathos, a moral argument in which an everyman employs immoral means to pursue something he considers invaluable in the face of an overwhelmingly powerful person or system. David Corbett The “bad vs. worse” set-up discussed in the article “No More Mr. Nice Guys” in the …

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Flawed characters and antiheroes make for fascinating protagonists—but their behavior can risk alienating readers. Follow this blueprint for flawed-yet-relatable heroes who can still provoke empathy. David Corbett ILLUSTRATION © GETTY IMAGES: LUCIANO LOZANO Not so long ago it seemed every writer agreed: Protagonists must be “likable.” Then something curious happened. Everyone began to realize that …

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Frustration is often the most important emotion for fictional characters. Their reaction to failure drives the plot. Using examples and exercises, learn ways to create frustrated characters that will draw your reader into a realistic setting. Nancy Kress Using emotion to create strong, emotional characters and move a plot is critical for any writer in …

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