Before You Start to Plot

Here’s a quick question for you: what’s easiest to write – a ‘woman in jeopardy’ story or a police procedural?   If you are (or have been) a police officer, then ‘police procedural’ might be the answer for you. If you know...

Turning Points in a Story

What are “TURNING POINTS” in a novel? Put simply: a turning point in a story is A POINT AT WHICH THINGS CHANGE. You should be able to find a turning point in most of your scenes: it’s an indication that your story is moving forward. Any story is full...

The Power of Brainstorming

So, it’s official. You’re stuck. Maybe you can’t come up with a decent story idea. Maybe you’ve no idea of where to take the plot. Or possibly you’re just losing patience with an intractable character. Whatever it is, you feel as though...

Satisfying Story Endings

Story endings are hard to write – often much harder than beginnings. Any author who wants to be published must understand how to write a book with a powerful ending. It’s important to know two things: one, what will disappoint readers (and editors) and...

5 Ideas for Plot Twists

I admit that this might start to sound a bit like the developments in your favourite (or most-hated) soap opera – but remember: readers LOVE to be surprised! Your job is to tread the fine line between giving them a plot twist that they didn’t see coming,...