Writing tips 2#


Not much has been happening chez moi this week. Been busy working away at work and tweaking another little project that I’ll tell you about once it’s finished. Also been doing some planning for DarkIsle 3 and will spend a couple of hours tomorrow writing. That’s the plan, anyway. Of course, last week I said I’d write for five hours, I managed three…and some of that was for the day job. Sigh. Never mind.

Have also picked up the knitting needles again and am working on sock 2 of a pair of socks I’ve been knitting for hubby. I had intended to have them ready for our wedding anniversary last month, but things didn’t turn out that way.

Anyway, ref the title of the post…here’s some more writing tips (oh, before I forget here’s a link to an earlier post with tips about ideas and inspirations). This time…plot development. I plan my books, it’s how I do it. If I don’t plan them, I don’t write them, instead I just sit at my computer and stare at the screen. I might also be sneaky and go online searching for new blogs to read. Anything to waste time. Anyway, the plot of my stories is ALWAYS something I plan. Here are some things you should think about when planning your plot…


  • Who is your narrator? – Is the story being told in first person or third? Are there more than one narrators? I find it easier to write from the point of view of one character, but you may want to write from more.
  • Main plot – there is always some sort of conflict or problem that the main character has to deal with whether that’s fighting a baddie to save the world (spy thrillers, fantasy); getting the guy (romance); saving a parent from themselves (real life); conflicts between characters (real life); a struggle to survive (real life); or stopping an alien race invading the planet (sci-fi). You need to work out what that conflict is, how your character reacts to it and what he or she does to resolve that problem.
  • Sub plots – there’s often an underlying sub plot in novels which adds to the richness of the book. In the end, the sub plots should tie in with the main plot. Watch out that it or they don’t overwhelm the book or become so complicated that they overwhelm you.
  • Weave in other elements or threads to ensure that your story is believable,  ie describe what the character sees, hears, tastes, smells, feels…but don’t over-describe or you’ll end up boring your reader.
  • Ensure the text flows: read your text aloud and see what works and what doesn’t. If you stumble over any words, so will your readers and you’ll not only lose pace, but possibly your reader too.
  • Ending – ensure the ending is complete and that all the loose ends are tied up…unless you’re planning a sequel in which to do that. If so, you may just want to leave some things hanging (eg where are Morag’s parents in DarkIsle? What happened to them?).

Happy writing!

Dawn x

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