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Top 5 Solutions When You’re Stuck on Your Novel

How To Get Unstuck On Your Novel Are you stuck on your novel? Have you tried several different approaches, only to end up stuck again? I experienced this with my most recent novel, The Beached Ones. It took me years to get past that stuck place. Talk about frustrating! I thought I was going to have to give up on the story. You may be feeling the same way. If so, I’m here to tell you: I got through that stuck place and went on to win a publishing contract for the book. You can too. When You’re Stuck on Your… Read More »Top 5 Solutions When You’re Stuck on Your Novel

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Self-Publishing Should NEVER Be A Last Resort. Here’s Why

Self-Publishing Versus Traditional Publishing ‘I want an agent and a traditional publishing deal, but I guess I can always whack it up on the Kindle as a last resort.’ If I had a £1 for every time I heard this from a wannabe novelist, I would be hella rich by now. It seems as if new authors think self-publishing is the bottom of the pile, the ‘easy’ option if you will. It’s the thing you do when you have no other options left. The last resort. Ugh. Oi, Writers: NO! As most veteran Bangers know, I work with writers. The… Read More »Self-Publishing Should NEVER Be A Last Resort. Here’s Why

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Are You Suffering From Feedback Trauma?

  • February 28, 2022February 28, 2022

On Feedback Trauma Are you suffering from feedback trauma? I don’t just mean hurting over bad reviews, but an experience so awful you feel like a ‘bad’ writer beyond redemption. These traumatic feedback experiences may include but aren’t limited to … Vitriolic feedback and script reports from paid-for readers and contests Screenwriting ‘gurus’ holding up your writing as an example of what NOT to do in classes and online Industry pros shutting you down / dismissing you in pitch meetings Industry pros telling you ‘no one cares’ about subjects dear to your heart in your writing Beta readers and peer… Read More »Are You Suffering From Feedback Trauma?

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3 Top Tips On Describing Your Character’s Appearance

  • February 14, 2022February 14, 2022

All About Character Appearance Character appearance is a hot topic when it comes writing craft. How much is ‘enough’ or ‘too much’??? Needless to say, individual writers’ mileage may vary on this question. This is one of those ‘piece of string’ questions, but for the purposes of this blog post I will try and narrow it down in discussing the common main points. When it comes to novels, some authors may spend a lot of time on character appearance. Others may do it more intuitively, or leave it almost entirely up to the reader’s imagination. Most novelists will find themselves… Read More »3 Top Tips On Describing Your Character’s Appearance

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10 Top Tips About Bad Reviews

On Bad Reviews All writers suffer bad reviews. If you’ve got one or more from readers, viewers or places you’ve submitted (such as film festivals, agents, publishers, or elsewhere) you will know this heartache. You’re hurt, confused and probably can’t stop obsessing about them. Those bad reviews may be all you can think about, even at the expense of the good ones. This is NORMAL. Our stories are our babies. We’ve spent oodles of our time on them. We’ve probably made all kinds of sacrifices to get them written, submitted, published or produced. Supersadface. So how to deal with these… Read More »10 Top Tips About Bad Reviews

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3 Top Tips From Hardboiled Writer Jim Thompson

  • January 16, 2022January 16, 2022

All About Jim Thompson (1906 – 1977) Jim Thompson may not be the most immediately recognisable of famous novelist names, but he’s my favourite writer of all time. A screenwriter as well as author, Thompson wrote over thirty novels. Known for hardboiled crime fiction (my ultimate fave subgenre by the way), Thompson received positive critical acclaim, but little commercial notice in his lifetime. His best-received novels include The Killer Inside Me, The Getaway and Pop. 1280. My personal favourite of his is The Grifters. I love Thompson’s work because nearly every person in his stories is not just an antihero,… Read More »3 Top Tips From Hardboiled Writer Jim Thompson

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5 Times It’s Okay To Write Stereotypes (Really!)

  • January 10, 2022May 9, 2022

Writing Stereotypes So it’s accepted modern writing wisdom that writers should never, ever, ever, ever write stereotypes. A stereotype is a simplification, a short-hand if you will. It’s generally thought nowadays that only BAD writers use stereotypes. But what if I told you stereotypes are a writing TOOL like any other … it just depends how that tool is USED??? Really!! Writers can use stereotypes whenever they want … as long as it’s ON PURPOSE, not by accident. But what does ‘on purpose’ mean? Check out the below and pass it on to your writer friends and followers. Let’s go! 1) For… Read More »5 Times It’s Okay To Write Stereotypes (Really!)

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Why Novelists Should Write Outlines Just Like Screenwriters

Outlines: For Or Against?  It seems every writer has an opinion on outlines! But often writers will fall into two camps … Those who do write outlines and those who don’t. Generally speaking, novelists who do outline tend to advocate the practice as the ‘common sense’ approach. Their outlines may be super-detailed or broad strokes.  The uber-organised authors may even use spreadsheets to keep track of every minute detail in their book … or they may use bullet points, notes to self or similar instead. In contrast, novelists who don’t outline are often very loud online. Such writers like Stephen… Read More »Why Novelists Should Write Outlines Just Like Screenwriters

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Your Antagonist DOESN’T Have To Be A Villain. Here’s Why

All About The Villain Most writers ‘get’ the villain archetype intuitively. At their foundation, stories are often about ‘goodies and baddies’. Just like every story needs a protagonist, it usually needs an antagonist of some kind … … and that antagonist is nearly always a villain. A villain may have relatable and understandable motivations for their ‘evil plan’. We may invest in their journey every bit as much as the protagonist’s … Alternatively, they may just be evil because that’s their personality. They may be criminals, politicians, narcissists, abusers, serial killers, actual monsters … it doesn’t matter. The villain role… Read More »Your Antagonist DOESN’T Have To Be A Villain. Here’s Why

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How To Write A Protagonist Who Is A Total Asshole

Asshole, NOT Antihero So, you want to write a protagonist for your screenplay or novel that is a total asshole. There’s nothing wrong with doing this … but first, let’s identify what actually makes up an asshole protagonist. I’d first say an asshole character is NOT an antihero. As we know, antiheroes are in demand in the 2020s, both for male and female protagonists. An antihero is defined in the dictionary as simply ‘lacking traditional heroic attributes’. What this means is left open to interpretation. That said, since The Hero’s Journey is still super-popular, we can assume those traditional attributes are… Read More »How To Write A Protagonist Who Is A Total Asshole

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