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Creative writing writing tools

Six ways to prep for Nanowrimo 2023

With only three weeks left until Nanowrimo 2023 kicks off, there’s still time to prepare your story so you can hit the keyboard hard on November 1st. More importantly, a little prep will give you something to fall back on when the words run dry on November 21st. I won’t be on board the Nano […]

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Creative writing writing tools

Plottr: simple visual story planning, part 2

Plottr is my latest bid to find a story outlining tool that will tame my excesses as a discovery writer and help me to work faster. I’ve looked at how I hoped to use it with three different projects, now it’s time for a deep dive into the experience. Navigating the Plottr interface When you […]

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Creative writing The Good Reader

How much does it cost to write a novel? Part 1: The writer’s workspace

How much does it cost to write a novel? Surely, writing costs nothing more than time and something to write with, whether that’s pen and paper, a computer, or a secretary to take your dictations (if you’re Barbara Cartland). Right? Wrong! Most successful novelists employ editors and readers at different stages. That’s particularly important for […]

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Creative writing

The first draft of your novel: build layers of storytelling

The best novels are packed with dialogue, scene, action, interiority and world building in every scene. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be lucky to get two layers of storytelling into any new scene in your first draft. Three years with my MA writing group have taught me that this is very common. Almost every […]

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Creative writing writing tools

Planning tools for writing novels: Scrivener, Scapple, Xmind, Aeon Timeline, Trello, Plottr

How do you turn a collection of story ideas into a coherent 100,000-word novel? Novel planning was one of the most daunting tasks I faced as a first-time novelist. As a journalist, I’d got used to writing a few hundred words without an outline, or jotting down a few ideas for a thousand-word article or […]