What Makes a Reader Empathise with a Lead Character is Often an Indefinable Combination of Things

Re-reading my favourite novel by Margaret Atwood, ‘Bodily Harm’, made me wonder, as I have done before, whether or not you have to identify strongly with the lead character to be really drawn in by a novel.I like the main character, Renny Wilford, well enough – I like her courage, and her detached, cool humour. … Continue reading What Makes a Reader Empathise with a Lead Character is Often an Indefinable Combination of Things

On Jettisoning 40,000 words and Quotes from Famous Writers

  It was horrible, but there was nothing else for it. I have just had to jettison about 40,000 words of my latest. I had hoped to be in the last stages of publishing it next month; now with the re-writing, it is going to be delayed by six months at least. I wasn’t happy … Continue reading On Jettisoning 40,000 words and Quotes from Famous Writers

Review of Jordan Rosenfeld’s ‘How to Write a Page Turner’

I have just finished reading Jordan Rosenfeld’s ‘How to Write a Page Turner’. I thought the advice in it was invaluable. Not only that, but it is detailed; too many ‘how to’ books for writers are not sufficiently specific. You might be told to ‘infuse the pages with tension’ and to ‘keep raising the conflict’ … Continue reading Review of Jordan Rosenfeld’s ‘How to Write a Page Turner’

Getting From the Middle to the End of Your Story: The Main Characters’ Darkest Hours…

YUK. I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the sagging middle, and how I was fighting my way through that in my latest, the sequel to ‘That Scoundrel Émile Dubois’. By the way, this one has the interim title: ‘Villains and Vampires’. However, as my last began with the words, ‘The Villainous Viscount’ I … Continue reading Getting From the Middle to the End of Your Story: The Main Characters’ Darkest Hours…

Originality and Breaking the Rules in Writing

When I first started writing, it was in the days before the internet. The aspiring writer had to seek out and buy a ‘How To’ book, or borrow it from the library. The first of these that I read contained this helpful piece of advice from the male author, very successful, but you might say, … Continue reading Originality and Breaking the Rules in Writing

Book Titles: Choosing a Title and some Good, Bad, and Indifferent Titles from Classic Novels

Titles are always difficult to decide on. This is all the more of a challenge, as the conventional wisdom of innumerable writers websites says you have to have an outstanding one that will make your readers want to start reading at once: – not an easy task. Well, I find them difficult, anyway. I was … Continue reading Book Titles: Choosing a Title and some Good, Bad, and Indifferent Titles from Classic Novels