Writers’ Craft 7: Dialogue

A tricky art One of the common problems I see as an editor is clumsy dialogue. So often a writer feels the need to explain the dialogue with all manner of cues and instructions, as though they were writing a screen play, or giving notes to an actor. Writing dialogue for general reading is quite different. It requires that you, as the writer, remove yourself and instead choose your words, and how you employ those…

Writers’ Craft 6: Tense

What time is it? Choosing a tense for your story usually isn’t a big deal. Most fiction and even nonfiction is told in past tense, as in: They went there, and then they travelled further. Why writers do this is not entirely clear. Certainly the practice of writing in past tense has been around a very long time. Mallory wrote Le Morte d’Arthur in 1469, and it is in past tense. Homer’s epic poem, Odyssey,…

Writers’ Craft 5: Point of View

Who is telling your story and why Point of view is simply that: who is telling your story? While that definition may be simple, sometimes choosing who is telling your story can present a conundrum to the author. Is the story better suited to first person or third person? Or is your story compelling enough it requires second person? Perhaps a review of what those points of view actually mean, and why you might chose…

Writers’ Craft 4: Character Development

An essential skill One of the most powerful and essential skills in your writing arsenal is the ability to develop and write believable characters who step off the page into the minds of your readers. But it would seem it’s also one of the hardest skills to effectively master. Do it well, and you haunt the thoughts of your readers. Do it wrong, and your reader closes the novel, likely never to return either to…

Writers’ Craft 3: Outlining

Technical issues I was going to make this entire Writers’ Craft series as vlogs. However, I have a problem with my ISP, in that they have not upgraded the lines in our wee village, and so uploading to YouTube is problematic. The first two videos required an overnight upload, with nothing else eating up broadband. The third one has been a bust, I’m afraid. I’ve tried four times now. The first three attempts resulted in…