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10 Ways Tarot Archetypes Can Help You Write Your Story

Many thanks to writer and B2W Academy member Pamela PerryGoulardt who has written today’s post about Tarot archetypes … AND created these fantastic cards herself. Wow! I am blown away by how gorgeous the images are. The lady is a talent! Writers often ask me ‘how’ to write great characters visually, so when Pamela suggested Tarot I was all ears. Whilst I have been aware of the practice for decades, I’d never thought of using Tarot cards as a writing aid. So, over to you Pamela! Write Stories That Are Off The Charts! Tarot is a detailed system of numbers… Read More »10 Ways Tarot Archetypes Can Help You Write Your Story

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5 Creative ‘Reader Magnets’ To Help You Market Your Novel Online

All About Reader Magnets Reader magnets take the ickiness out of selling. Most commonly, a reader magnet refers to … A freebie on your website that people sign up with their email address to get A ‘permafree’ (permanently free) book on sites like Amazon Some posts on social media that encourage engagement with you, your writing, or products (like books) Writers can get a bad name online, especially with what others call ‘book spam’. This usually involves authors dropping links endlessly on social media. When called out for it, they will shrug and say they have ‘no choice’ as they… Read More »5 Creative ‘Reader Magnets’ To Help You Market Your Novel Online

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Plotting 101: Top 10 Tips For Crafting Compelling Stories

Plotting Like a Pro One of the most searched-for terms on this blog is ‘help with plotting’. Plot – aka structure if you’re a screenwriter – can be a tricky beast. Despite it being fashionable to claim plotting is ‘easy’ to fix, this is utter BILGE … which is why it’s a good idea to try and ensure you don’t tie yourself up in knots at foundation level! So, whether you’re a novelist looking for help plotting your book, or a screenwriter who needs guidance on structuring your script, these quick tips should help. Ready? Let’s go … 1) It’s… Read More »Plotting 101: Top 10 Tips For Crafting Compelling Stories

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Are You Schrödinger’s Writer? Here’s How To Break Out Of This Destructive Mindset

Schrödinger’s Cat Versus Writers Schrödinger’s Cat is a thought experiment devised by the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, which he designed to illustrate a paradox of quantum superposition. In this famous paradox, a hypothetical cat may be considered both alive and dead simultaneously because its fate is linked to a random event that may (or may not) occur. Over time, Schrodinger’s cat has been linked to any number of hypothetical situations – erroneously or not – in which something may or may not happen, concurrently or not. I found myself talking about ‘Schrodinger’s writer’ recently with a number of Bang2writers. During these… Read More »Are You Schrödinger’s Writer? Here’s How To Break Out Of This Destructive Mindset

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Why Obsessing Over Theme Will Make You Ruin Your Story

“I’ve got something to say” Your script or novel’s theme IS important, but you don’t want to ruin your story by obsessing over it. This is because theme refers to the meaning behind the story, not the story itself. This means you need to concentrate on craft first, THEN theme. Look, writer’s voice is important. We’ve all seen various pro writers, prodcos, agents and publishers going on about this. It would seem like putting theme under the spotlight then is a similar no-brainer. Except everybody’s forgotten these important things: Theme is all about individuals making meaning from a story This… Read More »Why Obsessing Over Theme Will Make You Ruin Your Story

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1 Weird Trick To Avoid Using The Passive Voice In Your Writing

What Is The Passive Voice? The passive voice is a grammatical construction in which the subject of a sentence is acted upon by the verb, rather than performing the action itself. This results in a less direct, often more ambiguous sentence structure. This does NOT mean the passive voice is automatically ‘wrong’, but when it comes to writing fiction, it might not be desirable. But what does it look like? Here you go … Passive Voice example: The book was written by Lucy V Hay (By the way, it’s not tense-dependent. It would still be passive if it said, ‘The… Read More »1 Weird Trick To Avoid Using The Passive Voice In Your Writing

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Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Character Introductions

On Character Introductions Character introductions are super-important in good writing, whether it’s a novel or screenplay. A well-crafted character introduction provides context and relevance, which means the audience can connect with the characters on a deeper level. What’s not to like? Unfortunately, character introductions are often where writers stumble, which in turn affects the rest of the story. For the five biggest mistakes writers make with character introductions, check out the following … ready? Let’s go! 1) Laundry List Intros This is probably one of my ultimate pet peeve character introductions in both scripts and unpublished novels because it’s SO… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Character Introductions

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How To Write A Psychological Thriller (By An Author Who’s Written 7 Of Them — And Counting!)

Writing A Psychological Thriller If you want to write a psychological thriller, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve written a stack of these types of book, such as: The Other Twin – This psychological thriller is about a young woman who believes her sister was murdered. This is because the dead girl left behind a blog that throws suspicion on pretty much everyone they know, including the protagonist’s ex-boyfriend and even their own parents. Do No Harm – In this book, a couple get married … but her ex-husband and the father of her son stalks them in order… Read More »How To Write A Psychological Thriller (By An Author Who’s Written 7 Of Them — And Counting!)

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Is Your Writing Falling Foul of ‘Moral Perfectionism’? Find Out Here

‘I Don’t Want To Get It Wrong’ Is your writing suffering from ‘moral perfectionism’? The reason I ask is that I’ve noticed a huge uptick in the writers I work with worried about ‘getting it wrong’. What ‘wrong’ means can depend, but usually relates to the depiction of marginalised characters and communities. A writer will feel stressed and even frozen by fear at seeming like an ‘over-privileged asshole’. This may relate to … Male writers writing female leads White people writing BIPOC characters Straight writers writing LGBTQ characters Able-bodied writers writing disabled characters More affluent writers writing about poverty and/or… Read More »Is Your Writing Falling Foul of ‘Moral Perfectionism’? Find Out Here

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5 Things I Learned From Writing 50k Words Of A Novel In Just 1 Month

How To Write 50K In 1 Month Earlier this year I finally got round to writing a novel (91k words) and absolutely loved the whole process. As November appeared on the horizon, I decide to take the challenge of writing 50K of a new novel in November. That works out at around 1,667 words every single day. I made it to 50K and came in at just over 52 thousand words! So here are five thing I learned while doing the challenge. Ready? Let’s go … 1) Preparation is key In the weeks leading up to November I plotted the… Read More »5 Things I Learned From Writing 50k Words Of A Novel In Just 1 Month

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No, Your Characters DON’T Have To Change In Your Novel Or Screenplay. Here’s Why

Do Characters ‘Have’ To Change? In any conversation online about characterisation, it’s never long before somebody pops up proclaiming characters HAVE to change. They may even insist that a character who doesn’t change has ‘no arc’. Calling the department of WRONG! No, characters do NOT have to change. I can’t stress this enough. In fact, sometimes it’s desirable they DON’T change. Have I blown your mind? If I have, I’m not surprised. Writing gurus – especially in screenwriting circles – have been SO didactic about this topic in the last thirty or forty years. As a result, generations of writers… Read More »No, Your Characters DON’T Have To Change In Your Novel Or Screenplay. Here’s Why

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Why The T-Rex Is The Best Female Lead, Ever (Yeah I’m Not Joking)

All Hail The T-Rex From Jurassic Park Over Christmas I was noodling around Facebook when I came across this fun meme (right, below) depicting Mothra, the Xenomorph Queen and the T-Rex as ‘inspiring female characters’. Cue a million nerds like me all LIKING the pic (because, obviously). But when I looked at the thread underneath it was full of … ‘Oh hardy ha, this can’t be true, very funny’ etc etc. Except I’m DEADLY serious when I say the T-Rex is one of the best, most well-written monsters in creature feature history. YUP you read that right and NOPE I am… Read More »Why The T-Rex Is The Best Female Lead, Ever (Yeah I’m Not Joking)

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