Quick Tips #4: Dialogue

Dialogue is one of the trickiest things to get right. It requires a good ear, and the ability to make speech sound natural even though it is probably the most carefully constructed, "artificial" component of any fictional work. What I mean: Counterintuitively, dialogue in fiction should not mimic everyday speech. Humans say a lot of…

Quick Tips #3: Show, don’t tell

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” This quote by Chekhov may be familiar to some of you. It encapsulates perfectly one of the rules of good fiction writing: Show, don’t tell. Consider the following: The man was very nervous. He tried not to cry. He…

The Pantser and The Second Act Sag (Or, more things I have learnt writing a novel)

I've finished my first novel, and plans are underway to publish it. As I bask in the afterglow (AKA the thank-feck-that's-over, Netflix-saturated, crap-magazine-reading malaise), I've been reflecting on the novel-writing process and what more it has taught me (You may also want to read my earlier post, Ten things I have learnt writing a novel).…