L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

Amanda Patterson Use these lists of 350 character traits to help you select the positive and negative traits you need for the characters in your stories. What Is A Character Trait? A trait is a distinguishing quality or characteristic, typically one belonging to a person. It can be a genetically determined characteristic. Traits are formed …

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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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Whether discussing movies or books, most agents and editors are eager to find projects that are high concept. In this post, learn how to develop high-concept book ideas to find more success with your writing. Robert Lee Brewer Whether discussing movies or books, most agents and editors are eager to find projects that are high …

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Where do ideas for the best mystery novels come from? Use targeted questions to craft a premise that will hook your readers from the first page. Bestselling author Hallie Ephron shares how to develop a fascinating premise for your mystery novel. Hallie Ephron I used to think that I couldn’t write a mystery novel because I’m …

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by Amanda Patterson Many writers struggle with plotting. In this post, What Is A Plot?, we define a plot and tell you how to use it in a story. What Is A Plot? A plot is a series of events that make up a story. Plots have beginnings, middles, and endings. The first quarter of your …

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After exhausting himself with work, author Benjamin Myers was sent over a literal edge and into the River Derwent. He recalls his recovery and hunt for a cure. Benjamin Myers Last summer, in the midst of promotional chaos surrounding my new novel The Offing, I cancelled my own London book launch and instead drove to …

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Research on writers appearing at the Edinburgh international book festival reveals 63% listen to their creations, and 61% feel they have their own agency. Alison Flood Some writers have always claimed they can hear their characters speaking, with Enid Blyton suggesting she could “watch and hear everything” and Alice Walker describing how her characters would …

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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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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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