Christine Frazier from Better Novel Project

7 April 2015 / Leave a Comment
I write intuitively. I get an idea and plunge right into a story, hoping to work work things out along the way. Invariably, I get stuck around 20,000 words into the first draft of a novel. This is the point where I wish I had some kind of outline to guide me through my problem. So I’m fascinated by those writers that map out their whole book from the start. Christine Frazier has made planning a novel an art form in itself; she is deconstructing bestselling novels, discovering what elements they have in common, and using these elements as a backbone for a master outline. She believes thorough research and planning instead of luck will help her write a better novel ...

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Best writing advice from a rejection letter

2 April 2015 / Leave a Comment



The best piece of writing advice I received was in a rejection letter from a publisher seven years ago. The unnamed reader said: ‘There seems to be an over reliance on repetition of words and phrases. Examine these words and dig deep to explore how you could use another word to say it better, differently, and inventively … when you rely on cliché you miss an opportunity to craft a sentence that develops a style and voice that no other author has.’ After I picked my self-confidence up off the floor and swept away my ego I realised it was true. My writing was commonplace, ordinary, boring and full of needless repetition. It was a harsh piece of criticism, but I’ve been grateful for it ever since.

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James Royce Patterson from Penleak writers collective

1 April 2015 / Leave a Comment

James Royce Patterson is an author of dark fantasy; he's into myths, monsters, and hidden worlds where everything is strange. He's also a member of the writing collective Penleak, along with Benjamin Lancaster and Christopher Tunstall. The three members contribute writing advice and articles to Penleak. James tells us about his new book and collaborating with other writers, artists and musicians ...


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