Balancing plot, theme and character

As a less experienced writer I used to obsess over plot. Plot was everything. This seems to be the case for a lot of people who aren’t writers, too — a common criticism of a film or book will be that “the plot isn’t very good”, or “the plot’s a bit basic”. When I used to write as a kid, my entire focus would be on trying to formulate a twisty-turny, intricate plot.

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UBER cover

Why magic needs to have rules

Stories need rules as much as they need imagination; as counter-intuitive as it seems, placing restrictions on what can happen in your fictional world will help readers to understand the dramatic tensions, threats and challenges encountered by your characters. This is true regardless of the genre you’re playing in. (more…)

Finding a title for your novel

Titles are massively important and often irritatingly elusive. If you publish in a serialised, weekly format like me you need to figure out titles right up front, before you’ve written the whole story. You get more breathing space if you’re publishing traditionally, or self-publishing a completed, edited ebook, but at some point you still need to commit. (more…)