How ‘Pro Writing Aid’ makes Editing Easier

Editing transforms crappy first drafts into polished stories. To be a good writer, you must be a good editor. I’ve written extensively about how to edit your story, but today, we’re doing something different. Today, I’ll show you a program that does the editing for you.  It’s called Pro Writing Aid. Since I brought Pro …

Continue reading How ‘Pro Writing Aid’ makes Editing Easier

Editing Tip #6: Prioritise Macro Edits over Micro Edits

Not all forms of editing are created equal. While any type of editing should improve your story, some forms of editing are more powerful, effective and less time-consuming than others. Macro and Micro Editing: This is where the idea of macro and micro edits come in. Macro edits refer to big-picture fixes. For instance, re-writing …

Continue reading Editing Tip #6: Prioritise Macro Edits over Micro Edits

Editing Tip # 4: Edit Backwards to Improve your Editing Efficiency

Editing is all about trying to see the story that’s on the page, not the story in your head. You can attain greater objectivity by changing the font or not looking at your story for a few weeks, but when it comes to the actual changing of the words, there’s another trap many writers fall into. …

Continue reading Editing Tip # 4: Edit Backwards to Improve your Editing Efficiency

Editing Tip # 3: Change your Font to see your Story through Fresh Eyes:

The key to editing lies in being able to read your work with fresh eyes. You can attain emotional separation and thus objectivity in several ways and I’ve written about one possible method before. However, there’s a ridiculously easy way to boost your objectivity, which is so ridiculously easy that I am likely to be …

Continue reading Editing Tip # 3: Change your Font to see your Story through Fresh Eyes:

Editing Tip #2: Cut the Redundancies using 1 simple tool

Redundancies are not very useful, make your writing bad and hurt your sentences. It’s easy for redundancies to creep or sneak or wheedle their way into your writing and your stories. As you can probably tell, I went overboard with redundancies in the above paragraph. Most of the words didn’t contribute any meaning or value. Here’s the …

Continue reading Editing Tip #2: Cut the Redundancies using 1 simple tool

Editing Tip # 1: Why your Pet Phrases might need to be put down:

Pet phrases are frequently-used expressions that slip into our writing without us even noticing. These repeated phrase are at best unnecessary and at worst distracting to readers. Pet phrases are words that we like to write. A lot. Most of the time we don’t even notice writing them. Even if you’re looking out for them, …

Continue reading Editing Tip # 1: Why your Pet Phrases might need to be put down:

6 Things Writers Should Learn from ‘Neuromancer’ by William Gibson

“The sky above the port was the colour of television, tuned to a dead channel.” Written in 1984 by William Gibson, ‘Neuromancer‘ is a cyberpunk sci-fi novel about a hacker recruited to infiltrate one of the world’s largest mega corps. The novel invented the idea of the ‘Matrix,’ created the term ‘cyberspace,’ and won the …

Continue reading 6 Things Writers Should Learn from ‘Neuromancer’ by William Gibson

4 and a half reasons why ‘Courier’ is the best font for writers

With thousands of fonts to choose from, you’ve probably wondered which one is best for writers. Wonder no more: Courier (or ‘Courier New’ on some computers) is the answer: 4 and a half reasons why ‘Courier’ is the best font for writers: 1: It’s different to normal computer fonts Websites hardly ever use Courier. This …

Continue reading 4 and a half reasons why ‘Courier’ is the best font for writers

5 Reasons Fiction Writers should use Critique Circle

Critique Circle is a free website that helps writers get feedback on their stories. It also lets you critique other writers’ stories. To use the site, you need to create a (free) account. I’ve used Critique Circle for my WIP novel, and a recent short story. Basically, I posted excerpts from these stories onto Critique …

Continue reading 5 Reasons Fiction Writers should use Critique Circle

Using the 6 Types of Conflict to Create Pitch-Perfect Tension

Conflict is the lifeblood of stories. However, most of the time we think conflict can only happen between characters. This isn’t the case. In fact, there are many other types of conflict writers can create. But before we get to those, let’s define conflict. Conflict = result of a force stopping a character getting what …

Continue reading Using the 6 Types of Conflict to Create Pitch-Perfect Tension

Improve your Prose by Varying Sentence Length

Whatever you’re writing, there’s one sure-fire way to make your prose more engaging: Vary the length of your sentences. Rather than explain why this is important, I’m going to give an example: This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is …

Continue reading Improve your Prose by Varying Sentence Length

Understanding (and Conquering!) the 4 Parts of Writer’s Block

‘Writer’s Block’ is basically writing-related procrastination. This means that overcoming procrastination = overcoming writer’s block. In ‘How to be a Knowledge Ninja,’ productivity expert Graham Allcott claims procrastination occurs when we find something: Difficult Undefined Scary Tedious Fighting writer’s block comes down to fighting these 4 concepts, which have the handy acronym of DUST. If …

Continue reading Understanding (and Conquering!) the 4 Parts of Writer’s Block

Why Threatening your Protagonist ISN’T the Best Way to Create Suspense

We often think that suspense = dramatic stakes. The higher the stakes, the higher the suspense. Thus, threatening the character with whom readers have the most connection should create the most suspense, right? Wrong. Yes, threatening your main character will enhance suspense. However, you’ll never achieve super-high levels of suspense because readers know you won’t …

Continue reading Why Threatening your Protagonist ISN’T the Best Way to Create Suspense

How to Create Effective Character Names

Names are an important part of all good characters. Names can be brave, funny, or menacing, and are an essential part of character creation. Personally, I always need a name for my characters before I can flesh them out, and that’s why today’s post will provide guidelines for crafting memorable, powerful and effective character names. …

Continue reading How to Create Effective Character Names

5 Reasons To Have a Likeable Antagonist

When most people hear ‘antagonist’, they think of a moustache-twirling megalomaniac who kicks puppies in their spare time. While there’s certainly a place for antagonists that are pure evil incarnate (Darth Vader in A New Hope is a great example), here are some compelling reasons to make your antagonist(s) a little more sympathetic: ‘Antagonist’ does not equal ‘bad guy’ …

Continue reading 5 Reasons To Have a Likeable Antagonist

The Toy Story Guide to Using Theme

Theme. It’s a vague, mystical concept discussed in the halls of universities and remarked upon by literary critics worldwide. Theme is more than fancy window dressing to make your story ‘culturally relevant’ or of ‘literary merit.’ Theme, in fact, is a tool for writers – a tool that organises your story’s scenes, characters, tone and …

Continue reading The Toy Story Guide to Using Theme

The Easy Way to Write a Powerful Climax

Nothing leaves a bad taste in a reader’s mouth like week-old pizza a bad ending. There’s lots of ways to write a bad climax, but most bad endings are caused by authors writing themselves into a corner, with no convenient escape through a ladder/window/trapdoor. Luckily, there’s a simple way to increase your odds of crafting …

Continue reading The Easy Way to Write a Powerful Climax

How to use Active Reading to Become a Better Writer

The following article was published on ProWritingAid on 13/03/2017. Read the full article here, or read below for an excerpt.  Authors often discuss how reading improves your writing. However, there’s a big difference between passive and active reading, and if you’re serious about using published novels to improve your writing you must learn how to …

Continue reading How to use Active Reading to Become a Better Writer