How to write flashbacks

How to write flashbacks

Flashbacks are an important part of storytelling, enabling writers to connect the events and actions of the present to things that have happened in the past. They’re a particularly useful tool for demonstrating character motivations and introducing plot twists. If...
The anatomy of act one

The anatomy of act one

Act one is critical. It’s your chance to pull your reader into your story and show them why it’s worth investing their time. In it, you have to 1) persuade them of the quality of your writing, 2) pique their interest in your story world and characters, and 3) show...
What kind of editor do you need? A short guide.

What kind of editor do you need? A short guide.

When you’re trying to find an editor for your novel, it can be hard to make sense of all the different specialisms. Content editor, line editor, copy-editor, proofreader? What do they all mean and which one do you need? To help you make sense of it all, I’ve produced...
Writing case study: The Scarlet Thief

Writing case study: The Scarlet Thief

Sometimes you read a book and, from the very first page, you know it’s going to be brilliant. Reading The Scarlet Thief, the first novel in Paul Fraser Collard’s popular Jack Lark series, was, for me, one of those times. For anyone not familiar with Paul’s writing,...
Mysteries, secrets, and lies

Mysteries, secrets, and lies

Why do readers keep turning the page? The answer is simple – they want to find out what happens. But how do we seed the questions that they want to know the answers to? Mysteries, secrets, and lies are excellent ways of doing this. When used alongside conflict and...
Author interview – Matthew Harffy

Author interview – Matthew Harffy

A couple of weeks ago, I published a writing case study that featured Matthew Harffy’s excellent book, The Serpent Sword – the first in his Bernicia Chronicles series. Matthew read the case study and enjoyed it enough to agree to an interview with me as a follow up....
Writing case study – The Serpent Sword

Writing case study – The Serpent Sword

(Warning: spoilers ahead.) Matthew Harffy has been one of historical fiction’s best success stories in recent years, going from first-time indie author to landing a book deal with Aria Fiction for his acclaimed series, The Bernicia Chronicles. To mark the release of...
How to create internally conflicted characters

How to create internally conflicted characters

What do Tyrion Lannister, Darth Vader, and Hermione Granger have in common? Not much, you might think. Except, from a storytelling point of view, they all share one crucial feature – all three of them, in their different ways, are internally conflicted characters....