The Two Scenes in Your Novel That Will Need the Most Rewriting

The Two Scenes in Your Novel That Will Need the Most Rewriting

Novels are tricky. There’s so much to juggle that no-one gets it quite right the first time round … and most authors end up doing wholesale rewrites, rather than just making a few editorial tweaks. I’ve come to accept that rewriting is just part of the process of...
Why You Should Stick to One Name for Each Character in Your Novel

Why You Should Stick to One Name for Each Character in Your Novel

You’re probably known by several different names in your life. I’m “Alison Luke” when I fill in a form. I’m “Mrs Luke” to my bank and to cold-callers. I’m “Mummy” to my kids, occasionally “Mum” (they’re not convinced that I even have another name). I’m “Ali” to...
How Do You Divide Your Novel into Chapters?

How Do You Divide Your Novel into Chapters?

This post was inspired by an email conversation with Emma from the brilliant blog Science at Your Doorstep. Pick up the nearest book. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, it’s almost certainly split into chapters. As readers, we take that for granted. Chapters give us...
Choosing Viewpoint Characters: What’s Right for Your Story?

Choosing Viewpoint Characters: What’s Right for Your Story?

Sometimes, it’s obvious who the viewpoint character(s) will be for a particular story. Maybe you’re writing a first-person romance novella, for instance, with the heroine as the only viewpoint character. Often, though, there isn’t a completely clear-cut choice. You...
How to Write Character Descriptions That Work [With Examples]

How to Write Character Descriptions That Work [With Examples]

If you’re writing fiction, at some point, you’ll probably want to describe the people populating your story. (This isn’t absolutely essential, mind. I’ve just written a short story that consists entirely of dialogue – no dialogue tags, no action beats, nothing – and...