Writing advice blog: Second person point of view

Susie Helme The second person could be the most difficult point of view to use in a novel because it ‘can feel trite or gimmicky’, requiring a Voice which is ‘hard to sustain for the length of a novel’.[1] It’s a very effective point of view (POV) to use in how-to nonfiction, of course, asContinue reading “Writing advice blog: Second person point of view”

Writing advice blog: Zooming in, zooming out

Susie Helme The Reedsy blog How to Write a Closer (or More Distant) Point of View, is all about psychic or narrative distance, where the narrative (and therefore the reader) stands in relation to the character. I was intrigued by the statement: ‘The furthest you’re going to go in terms of Point of View isContinue reading “Writing advice blog: Zooming in, zooming out”

Writing advice blog: Dialogue – learning from the best

Susie Helme and Elaine Graham-Leigh Last week, we looked at some tips for how to write great dialogue. Now we’ll see how they can be put into practice with some examples from literature from 1813 to 2020. Literary style and conventions change over time, but the need for great dialogue remains the same. Pride andContinue reading “Writing advice blog: Dialogue – learning from the best”

Writing advice blog: Writing great dialogue

Susie Helme Dialogue is crucial to make your plot and characters come alive, but how do you get it right? See some of my top tips for effective dialogue below, then next week, Elaine and I will be analysing some of our favourite bits of dialogue to see how they work. Tips for writing greatContinue reading “Writing advice blog: Writing great dialogue”

Writing advice blog: Padding

Susie Helme I have edited or reviewed so many novels that feature a lot of ‘padding’. As a trained journalist, I’ve been schooled to cut out as much of that as possible (though I still err). You want: Who, What, When, and Where, and maybe How and Why. Then you need to stop. If you’reContinue reading “Writing advice blog: Padding”

Writing advice blog: the basic concept

Susie Helme The most important aspect of a novel is the Basic Concept, your novel’s Unique Selling Point. It’s a marketing tool; this is where you sell your novel. You gotta have a good idea. If the idea isn’t good enough, you could either waste years of your life writing something that never sees theContinue reading “Writing advice blog: the basic concept”

Writing advice blog: developing your characters with a character questionnaire

Susie Helme Here are some questions to get you thinking about your Protagonist’s character. This is not to say that you should work all this info into your text—God, forbid! This is merely an exercise for you, the author, to really get deep into the mindset of your character so you can make them interestingContinue reading “Writing advice blog: developing your characters with a character questionnaire”

Writing advice blog: developing a character

Susie Helme Here are two great exercises toward developing your character: Character motivations establish the reader-character connection, and motivations reveal something about character. Examine your character’s motivations in terms of their needs by referring to Maslow’s hierarchy. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: 1. Physiological 2. Safety and security 3. Love and belonging 4. Accomplishment and self-esteemContinue reading “Writing advice blog: developing a character”

Writing advice blog: characterisation

Susie Helme One can never say enough about characterisation. What readers are most attracted to when making their book buy choices is characters.[1] This is why people love those Detective So-and-So series and even Teen Vampire Saga Books 1,2,3. They fall in love with the protagonist and want to read more about their (fictional) lives.Continue reading “Writing advice blog: characterisation”

Writing advice blog: family sagas

Susie Helme I’ve recently reviewed two novels, both of which are family sagas, i.e. the tale of Protagonist’s parents, and their parents and their parents. The first used the structure you’d expect: Part I dealt with Protagonist’s father and his parents and grandparents; Part II dealt with Protagonist’s mother and her parents and grandparents; PartContinue reading “Writing advice blog: family sagas”