6 Ways to Manipulate Time in Fiction

Today’s guest post is by Martin Cavannagh.

One of the least analyzed literary devices in literature is time.

Time works differently in books. It ceases to be the tyrannical presence that we know in real life and instead becomes a simple tool that the writer manipulates to tell her story. Every great story puts time to work for it on some level—many times, in a way that’s deft and creative.

Okay, so what’s the literary equivalent of Notting Hill’s famous “Walk through the Seasons” sequence in Notting Hill, you might ask? Well, authors have their own tricks up their sleeves when it comes to controlling time. Let’s take a look at them now.

Here are six ways that writers work around the clock to tame time in their stories. Continue Reading…

Using the Ten Key Scene Structure to Frame Up Your Novel

You’ve spent days, maybe weeks or months, brainstorming the terrific novel you’re about to write. You’re sure you have a killer concept that’s original and compelling.

You’ve studied your genre and torn apart best sellers in order to ensure you know just how to write a novel that has the potential to sell big. Your folder is full of great scene ideas, and maybe you’ve put your scenes on index cards and you’re ready to lay out your plot from start to finish.

BUT . . . now what do you do? How do you determine which scenes go where? And how do you know you even have the best scenes for your plot?

Do you have too many nothing or irrelevant scenes? Not enough important ones? You wonder: Is my story sketchy? Do I need a subplot? Will the action sag in the middle? Will readers get bored and throw my book across the room? Continue Reading…

Organizing Your Writing Workplace for Better Productivity

Today’s post is by Lesley Vos.

More often than not, we writers don’t craft novels from offices. No teammates, no corporate culture, no “all that stuff” from HR managers on training and engagement for better productivity and work efficiency.

And yet, who says we don’t need this? Procrastination and writer’s blocks run their course, and here we are, crying over a blank page in attempts to start the next chapter.

Productivity is a holy grail for writers. When I started my journey as a freelance writer in the hope of finishing a book in a year, I didn’t realize the size of a problem. I considered it natural to write in a bed with a laptop on my knees and a cup of coffee nearby. And when, in a month, I found I’d written only 5,000 words of my future book, it had become a warning sign saying I did something wrong.

Scientists have long since proven the influence of environment on productivity. Why do you think J. K. Rowling wrote her masterpiece in cafes? The atmosphere of coffee shops makes us writers more creative, inventive, concentrated, and—surprise, surprise!—therefore productive. Continue Reading…

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