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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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Top 10 Writers’ Resolutions for 2024 Writing Success

Your Writing Resolutions For The New Year So 2024 is around the corner … did you achieve everything you envisaged in 2023? I hate this question. There’s never any ‘right’ answer. If you didn’t, then it makes you feel bad. If you did, it invariably never feels ENOUGH. This is why I choose the following 10 resolutions, year on year. The resolutions are achievable and don’t require lots of equipment, money or time. I can do them, bit by bit and add to my writing craft and career as I do so. Low stakes cumulative build-up — what’s not to… Read More »Top 10 Writers’ Resolutions for 2024 Writing Success

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Why Your Draft Doesn’t Make Sense (Plus What To Do About It)

So, Your Draft Doesn’t Make Sense It’s the note every writer – new to professional – dreads: your draft doesn’t make sense. Eeek! When your draft doesn’t make sense, it can be very overwhelming. When we get the note our stories are hard to follow, it’s easy to sink into hopelessness and despair. Some of us may even take it as proof we’re ‘terrible writers’ too and spiral even more. Perhaps you’re confused, too? Maybe you don’t understand why your script editor, beta reader or peer reviewer finds your story so hard to follow. You may feel as if the… Read More »Why Your Draft Doesn’t Make Sense (Plus What To Do About It)

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#1 Concept Mistake So Many Writers Make (Plus What To Do About It)

No Research = Concept Problems So often a writer will pitch me their concept and I say, ‘Oh, so like XYZ?’ They’ll look at me, totally blank. These won’t be obscure titles either. They will be big-time movies, TV shows, novels … it doesn’t matter. The writer has not done his, her – or their! – research and road-tested their idea. It always shocks me how so many writers don’t read books, or watch TV or film … then think they can write something with zero problems?? Total madness! If we don’t know what the concept is at grassroots level… Read More »#1 Concept Mistake So Many Writers Make (Plus What To Do About It)

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Sweets To The Sweet: Candyman, A Startlingly Relevant Halloween Horror

Candyman: The Short Story Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman … Clive Barker’s 1985 short story The Forbidden is a haunting exploration of poverty and disenfranchisement. It was first published in 1985 as part of his ground-breaking horror anthology, Books of Blood. Set in the desperate sinkhole estate of Spector Street, Liverpool, England, the story takes place in October with several references to Bonfire Night being the following week. This means we can be fairly sure the events of the story take place around Halloween. The Forbidden follows Helen, a graduate student. Originally researching graffiti as part of her thesis, she… Read More »Sweets To The Sweet: Candyman, A Startlingly Relevant Halloween Horror

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How Does Character Motivation Work? (Your Secret To Writing Great Characters)

All About Character Motivation NEWSFLASH: great characterisation should lie at the heart of every narrative, whether that’s a novel or screenplay. These characters should drive the plot forward and engage audiences emotionally. What’s more, modern audiences and readers demand nuanced, layered characterisation as standard in the 2020s. One essential element that brings characters to life is their motivation – the driving force behind their actions and behaviours. I like to call this the ‘WHY’ of characterisation. Put simply, character motivation can be summed up as “A character wants or needs something for some reason, but will have to strive to… Read More »How Does Character Motivation Work? (Your Secret To Writing Great Characters)

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Top 10 Tips On Writing Sizzling Sexual Tension In Your Novel Or Screenplay

What is Sexual Tension? Sexual tension is a key ingredient in many successful published novels and produced screenplays. Whilst sexual tension turns up most in romance stories, it can be part of ANY story in any genre. For example, I wrote sexual tension in my crime novel, The Other Twin. Sexual tension is that feeling of excitement and anticipation you get when something hot and heavy is happening between the characters, but they haven’t yet acted on their desires. Done well, sexual tension can be incredibly addictive for readers and viewers. It keeps them turning pages late into the night,… Read More »Top 10 Tips On Writing Sizzling Sexual Tension In Your Novel Or Screenplay

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How To Write A Fantastic Opening Sentence In Your Novel

Your Novel’s Opening Sentence Is SO Important The opening sentence in your novel has to do some heavy-lifting, so HOW you write yours is very important. Readers frequently read the first sentence to decide whether they will buy the book. They may do this in real life by literally picking it up from a shelf and going to page 1. Alternatively, they may utilise the ‘Look Inside’ feature on Amazon, or download the sample to their Kindles. WHY A Great Opening Sentence is Important A great opening sentence in a novel is important for several reasons … i) It sets… Read More »How To Write A Fantastic Opening Sentence In Your Novel

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How To Write A Great Cover Letter That Gets Results

Why do writers need to write cover letters? It’s the 2020s and the digital era, so why do writers need to worry about cover letters? Well, these days cover letters are most likely cover EMAILS … but you’ll still need the basics of how to write them. The only thing that’s changed is the delivery, basically. This means you’ll usually write cover letters as part of your submission process. This will frequently be a requirement, even if you’re using an online submissions portal such as CoverFly, Submittable or QueryTracker. Other times you may be expected to use cover letters is… Read More »How To Write A Great Cover Letter That Gets Results

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