L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

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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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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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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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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Debut novelist Karin Abarbanel shares four writing tips for contemporary novelists she discovered from studying the plays of the Bard for 365+ nights. Karin Abarbanel “And as imagination bodies forth The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing A local habitation and a name.” from A …

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You can doom your debut from the start with these 7 (tongue-in-cheek) strategies for flailing, and failing—or, you can do just the opposite. James Scott Bell There are a lot of ways not to do something. Like the new boat owner a few years ago who was filling up his pleasure craft with fuel for …

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Author Mark Stevens shares his experience of rewriting the first book in his Allison Coil novel series after realizing he was recommending readers start with books later in the series. Mark Stevens This is a story about re-writing a best-seller. Mine. Best-seller is an overstatement. I mean local best-seller. Antler Dust was first published in …

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by Tiffany Yates Martin Writers are often warned off of passive “be” verbs that suck the life out of their prose—but the “be” trap of passivity can also suck the life out of your characters. Regardless of how richly developed your characters are, it’s not enough for a protagonist to simply be interesting, multifaceted, layered. …

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11 secrets to keep in mind as you breathe life into your characters through effective character description, including physical and emotional description. Rebecca McClanahan 11 secrets to keep in mind as you breathe life into your characters through effective character description, including physical and emotional description. The characters in our stories, songs, poems, and essays …

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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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