L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

Peter Cole Competent, effective, functional, engaging journalistic writing can be learnt, and some advice has been provided in this online series. Brilliant writing for newspapers has a plus factor which is hard to define and is not achieved by many. It comes down to style. Keith Waterhouse puts it this way: “What is this style? …

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A mixed construction is a sentence with incompatible elements that begins with one type of structure and shifts to another type of structure. In these sentences, the speaker sets out to say one thing and abruptly switches to something else, resulting in confusion. A sentence that is logical has a subject and a predicate. When …

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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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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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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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Some practical, straightforward advice for the non-writers who want to get better. Dimitri Halkidis Not everyone can write. This is something I learned gradually, over a period of decades. And while the timid and anxious part of me struggles with admitting this, I am — objectively — a good writer. But I wasn’t born with …

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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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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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