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Writing A Novel: Two Ways To Strengthen Character Voice

Person Holding Type Writer Beside Teacup and Saucer on Table

Writing a novel is like exploring a forest…

There are many different paths, many of them carved out by those who explored before you, and you aren’t quite sure which one to take. Maybe it’s none of them. There’s also a lot of unexplored shrubbery, and you could maybe carve your own way through. You’re lost, to put it plainly. And it’s getting dark.

Oh, and your flashlight just went out…


So What Is Character Voice, Anyway?

It may sound a little self-explanatory, but character voice goes way deeper than the way your characters talk. It’s also more than just the way the text is written from a first person POV. You can get into character voice in third person writing, too. And that’s what we’re going to place our focus on today.

Here’s something for you to think about.

You know in those awesomely written books that are like, you know, international bestsellers? And do you know how, in those books, after a while, you can pretty much tell which character’s thoughts/perspective/speech you’re getting before the narrator even tells you? Well, that’s character voice.

Your goal is to make your characters so well-rounded and defined that they too are easily identifiable. This will not only make your work easier to follow, it’ll make the character’s more favourable in the eyes of the reader.

If the reader is invested in the characters, they’ll finish their tale – even if they don’t much like the plot itself. This is why, as editors, we push the importance of characterisation. It’s sort of like reality TV – people don’t watch it for the compelling story; they watch it for the personalities.

To tell a good story, you need good characters.


Give Your Characters Personal Flashbacks

Have you ever seen italics used in writing to present the reader with an effective flashback? Yes? No? Well, it looks a little something like this:

‘There was a small, dirty cloth bundle on the bottom of the tackle box. Marty tugged at the corner of the fabric, then scrambled backwards when the thing inside fell out, his heart pounding, his mind seeing Morey again, standing at his front door holding out a paper grocery bag. It had been exactly one month since Hannah’s murder.

This is for you, Martin.

What is it?

Jack’s inheritance back when he was my son. He didn’t want it; now it’s yours.

I’m not taking Jack’s inheritance, Morey… Jesus. Where did you get this?

Beautiful, isn’t it? Government Model 45-A Colt. Custom pearl handle. It’s over sixty years old. I took it off a dead Nazi who probably killed an American officer to get it. This is the most valuable thing I own, Martin. This is my legacy.’

That is a quote from ‘Live Bait’ by P.J Tracy. It’s a perfect example of the italicised flashback. It’s a great way to give the reader context without dragging them into a boring backstory that includes four-hundred counts of the word ‘had’. The author (or, authors, if you wish to be technical – look it up) uses him pulling the gun out of the closet as a trigger (no pun intended), then jumps right into the flashback with italics to show the reader what it is and how he got it. Pretty neat, right?

That’s your first technique.

It can also be a regular flashback. It doesn’t need to be one in this style, with fancy setups and formatting. A regular old flashback will get the job done just as well. At least, so long as you focus on the reason why you’re flashing back. You are flashing back to strengthen character voice, and in third person writing, flashbacks that focus on a particular character are a great place to do so.

They’re one of the only places in which you can let loose and really write in their voice. The narration can stray from that neutral sort of tone, and you as the writer can become the character, still writing in third person, but in their voice. You can do the same if a chapter only contains one character – you know the kind we mean. And you can also be brave and try to mix differing voices during conversations, giving each character their own thoughts at either side of their speech – that’s more complex, though. Proceed with caution.


Give Them A Thing

You know those characters you read who always make you belly-laugh? Or the ones who make you tear up no matter what? Or the ones who make you ponder life and all of its complexities? What have you noticed about those characters? What is it that makes them stand out to you; that makes them reach into your soul and caress it in different ways?

They have a thing.

Everything in the above list is a byproduct of strong character voice. A character can only evoke those things if you fully believe in them, and that’ll only come to pass if you’re fully committed to who they are as a person. No, not as a character, as a person – the best characters aren’t characters. They’re people.

And what do people have? A thing.

Everyone has their thing; their own quirk – something they like to do, a catchphrase, an inside joke, something material; their choice of style. You should aim to make your characters (or at least the important ones) the same. Give them their own quirks. Make them human and believable – even if they aren’t human or believable. It’s humans who are reading, and so they must be able to relate.

You can fall into a trap with this one, so consider the pacing of these revelations as you move. Don’t cram everything about them in too early and overdo it. Pace your character development with care and precision. Think of it as feeding a baby: give them a small spoonful every so often until they get full. The last thing you want is for them to spit it out and ruin your (life) day.


Time To Apply

You can now consider yourself a character voice pro. Use these tips to reinforce your characters, and to cement them in the heart of your reader. Thinking back to what we said about personalities on TV at the beginning, we’ll leave you with this:

You should tell a good tale. Write compelling stories by all means. That should always be the goal. But be sure that your characters are strong, too. That way, if all else fails and your plot isn’t doing it for someone, maybe your characters will.

 

Writing A Novel: Pacing Like A Pro

People Doing Marathon

Writing a novel is like running a marathon, only… it’s actually ten marathons back to back; the ground on which you’re running is on fire, and so are your shoes. Oh, and you’re not actually running. You’re walking. On your hands.


We’re sorry… by pacing, we don’t mean the type you do while waiting for the right moment or the right idea, while the thoughts in your mind are racing by at either whirlwind speed or not at all. Sadly, there’s no profession in that.

What we’re referring to, of course, is the pacing of your story.

Pacing is one of the most important things a writer can choose to focus on. It can mean the difference between a good book and a great one. Or more accurately: a good book and a bad one. It’s what keeps the reader turning the pages, initiating emotional responses and eliciting attachment with every passing chapter.

You could have the best story idea, be the most gifted writer of all time, and your book would still suck if the pacing was off. That’s why it’s such a crucial thing to get right. And sadly, there’s not much pacing-related information/philosophy out there for writers to work with.

We want to change that.


What Makes Great Pacing Great?

We always encourage a ‘no rules’ approach to writing. That same philosophy is also relevant when it comes to this question. There’s no set-in-stone method that will give you great pacing. It’s actually like many things within the craft: it depends a lot on the context.

What works for one writer’s story and style might not work for yours, and that’s why, above all else, you have to base your pacing on one thing and one thing only: the purpose of your scenes.

Before you decide on the order and speed of the events, you must first consider their purpose. Once you’ve done that, you can begin the process of methodically planning the pacing of your chapters and scenes. That’s why we say there’s no set-in-stone way: because your scenes and chapters are unique to you. Every writer should base their pacing on the purpose of a scene, and that’s what makes different paces work for different people.


Some Angles To Consider

Let’s say you write romance, and the purpose of a scene is introduce the love interests to one another – you’re likely going to want a varied style of pacing in that scene. If the context aligns and you find yourself starting with the POV of just one character (usually the case), you’d start the scene slowly and build the pacing (and simultaneously, the tension) right up until the point that they meet.

Once they have met, you could switch the pacing up again to signal different things. Maybe the scene ends fast because their meeting is awkward and reflective of their forthcoming relationship. Maybe it begins to slow again because they go for a long walk through a park (please don’t be that generic).

It’s contextual.

Another example could be crime fiction. Let’s say you’re writing a scene from the perspective of a soon-to-be victim, and choose to start things off slowly. As the tension builds and the killer approaches, you’ll use faster pacing to hook the reader and foreshadow the inevitable.

But then, the pacing drops and it turns out it was just the wind causing the noises behind the victim. No biggie. They’re just being stupid. But then… BAM… they die.

But in a different story, it might switch to the perspective of the killer and the pacing will stay slow because they stay in the shadows, watching their prey walk off. That’s where the chapter ends, leaving the reader filled with tension.


Make Sense?

Can you see how different pacing can play a huge role in how a scene turns out? And also how the type of pacing you choose to use largely depends on the genre you’re writing in and the purpose of the scene you’re working on?

Good. That’s how we want you to think of pacing.

Stay tuned for next week’s article, where we’ll be going into some further pacing talk, including how you can switch up the pacing for yourself using varying techniques.

Until then, happy writing, folks!

Writing A Novel: Using Settings With A Purpose

Plain Field in Front of Mountain Peak

Writing a novel is like driving a car, only…

The car is low on fuel, it has dodgy steering, and you’re controlling it through the iciness of the Antarctic. Oh, and it has no wheels…


Always Used

Writers use settings continuously, even when they’re not imperative to the scene in general. Whether deliberately or subconsciously, world-building and scene description fulfil a number of objectives.

But have you ever thought about how you can get a little more explorative with your scene descriptions?

Well luckily for you, we have.

This article will provide you with a list of practical scenarios. Each point will go into a little detail about how to use the scene description and what sorts of effects that has on the reader.

Aren’t you lucky to have such great friends?

Atmosphere

The most obvious use of setting is to craft an atmosphere that reflects the point of the scene, such as tension, joy, or reflection. When creating tension, the surroundings reflect a sense of urgency, fear, or agitation.

For example, in the opening chapter of ‘Great Expectations’, Dickens uses the backdrop of the graveyard to give his protagonist a tragic history, but also to create the feeling of fear in his bleak description of the surrounding marshes.

SETTINGS AS MEMORY TRIGGERS

Either the setting itself or certain objects within it can be used to prompt flashbacks or reflective moments. These allow your reader more insight into a character’s personality, history, or to oppose or add to their personal conflict. This is also useful when foreshadowing future scenes.

These tend to be more abstract and metaphorical by nature, but can involve scenes of tension-building nature too – they’re particularly effective when jumping straight into the next scene involving conflict, which leads nicely into the last point.

USING SETTINGS TO BOOST CONFLICT

The source of conflict usually comes primarily from an antagonist. However, the place in which your character finds themselves can also add to or become the sole source.
For instance, physical obstacles within the environment can be effective, such as a fallen tree across the only road out of town during an alien attack, or a locked door that prevents escape.

Surroundings can also emphasise character traits by association. In Dan Brown’s ‘Da Vinci Code’, the protagonist is introduced giving an important presentation on symbolism within cultural art as a Harvard Professor. This sets the tone for a major aspect of that particular character’s personality throughout the book, whether the reader had read the previous novels or not.


Now Go Explore

These are just a few ways you can think about using settings to boost your plot. Implement them as necessary and explore with them in your own way. Got any questions about this topic? Leave them down below. We’ll be sure to get back to you.

Oh, and remember:

Happy writing, folks!

Writing A Novel: Writing Slow And Fast At The Same Time

Pen on Notepad Paper

Writing a novel is like riding a bull… And you have no saddle, no strap, or no harness. You’re naked too. And the bull is actually a Boeing 747.


Purposeful Scene Construction

First of all, you’re probably wondering what in the heck we mean by that title. Well, you’ll be pleased to know that it can be broken down. And you’ll be even more pleased to learn that once it is broken down, it’ll be very useful for you and your writing.

So, how exactly can you write slow and fast at the same time?

The answer is simpler than you think.

We’re clearly talking about pacing here, and the truth of this article lies in two different types of pacing. We like to refer to them simply as internal and external. The internal pacing relates to the details – the character thoughts, descriptions, world-building etc., and the external pacing relates to the transitions, speech, and character actions.


The Purpose

We’re going to break down the mixing of these combinations in a simple way that doesn’t make your head want to explode. But before you can understand that, let’s quickly touch on the purpose.

The reason behind writing a scene like the one we’re going to go into is quite simple, but it’s also very useful (for any genre in the novel-crafting game). You can’t go wrong with this method. These scenes crop up across the board, and working this out in regards to your own style is exactly what will help you to level up your writing.

This is going to be incredible for those scenes that need to move fast, but at the same time mustn’t be rushed. You know the ones we mean. You’ll have written them hundreds of times before. And you’ll have read them many times too. You want the scene to move quickly to keep the reader engaged, but you also want to stick around with it for a while so it stays in their mind and isn’t easily forgotten. A murder scene in a crime thriller would be a perfect example. Or the first meeting between the love interests in romance.


Now For The Juicy Part

What you want to think about is this: slow internal pacing; fast external pacing. You want the descriptions to drag a little, to be quirky and full of voice and metaphor. That will help the reader to know that what is happening is important. Then, between those longer descriptions and thoughts, you make the transitions short and snappy, with fast-paced sentences and word choices.

Make sense? Good!

Don’t over-complicate the matter. Just think in simple terms. If you want to slow a piece down, use longer sentences with lots of metaphor and focus more on showing. If you want to speed up between those longer inserts, use shorter sentences and focus more on telling the reader of the transitions.

Mastering the blend of the two is what will take your important scenes and level them up. And leveling up in that sense is what will make your writing ability stand out greatly. That is what you want after all, right?


Trial and Error

As with any article we post here, this is just a general guideline that you can follow and switch up for your genre and writing style. This isn’t a quick-fix solution. This is something to stimulate that writerly mind of yours.

We fully believe in finding your own way to do things. You should be reading these articles and feeling stimulated; they should be giving you ideas on how you can improve your writing. That’s our aim with these, and we certainly hope it comes across.

Think of this as a half-finished blueprint. The foundations have been laid, now all you have to do is build the house.

Writing A Novel: No Looking Back

Man Riding Boxer Motorcycle on Road

Writing a novel is like baking a cake… for four thousand people in less than an hour, with one hand and zero utensils.


It’s A Process

There’s nothing quite like the journey of writing a novel.

It’s a personal adventure; a seeking of the soul. And it should be regarded with love and respect. The process is not easy, and that’s why it makes us sad to see so many writers putting themselves down. That’s what this article will touch on.

It’s time to put a stop to the self-hatred. It’s already tough enough to make it as a writer. If you doubt yourself within that umbrella of hardship, it’ll be damn near impossible. We want to help you think of things in a more positive light – with both inspirational words and practical advice.

We want to set the record straight.

If you’ve completed a full-scale novel that makes sense, twists, and is at least partway entertaining, you’re a very rare and beautiful human, and you should treat yourself as nothing less.


Self-Awareness

Before we get into the main topic, let’s quickly touch on what you must understand first: yourself. This is perhaps the most important thing to understand – especially if you want to make it in the world of words and wisdom.

The community is full of other writers, and that means it’s full of other creatives sharing their processes, their results, and their preferences. What you must realise about this is that all those things have nothing to do with you. The most successful writers are those who carve their own paths through the wild word-filled shrubbery.

You must consult yourself.

This article will contain a strategy for those who struggle with self-doubt, a strategy that will hopefully provide them with an outlet; a way to avoid the terrible black hole. If you don’t struggle with self-doubt, this strategy might not be relevant. But, it could be relevant if you struggle to stick with one idea or to finish a novel, so if that’s you, stick around – we’ve got a logical theory coming your way.


Stop Editing As You Go

Many writers get stuck in this trap. It’s perhaps the easiest pitfall to stumble into as a writer, and that’s simply because it’s in the nature of the beast. When a writer sees words (especially their own) they want to critique them, make them better, and have a fantastic time while doing so.

Now, there’s a slight problem with this if you’re someone who self-doubts or can’t finish a novel. Are you catching on yet? That’s right – the slight problem is that obvious. If you struggle with those things, it’s likely not a great idea to get hung up on the tense consistency of chapter four.

Introducing the solution: no looking back. And yes, we mean it.

We want you to give this a try. Plan out a novel, figure out your plot in detail, and then go to town day after day. Don’t stop to reread the previous page, the previous sentence, or even the previous word. Just write and write until you’ve written the very last word of the very last chapter. Once you reach that point, you can look back all you like. You’ve earned it by then.

This is one way to negate the difficulties of editing while you write and, you know, not doing any actual writing because of it. It’s no good editing chapter four twenty times – it won’t be relevant to anyone else until the final chapter is written.


Extremes

This is, of course, a rather extreme strategy, so again, find what works for you. Maybe reread each sentence, catch any typos or misplaced words, and then move on. Maybe even give the page a quick once over. But remember, the purpose of this drill is to avoid over-editing while you write, so be sure that you can leave it at the bare minimum.

Give this a try and see how it works for your process and your style – that’s how it will be best implemented.

And most of all, don’t forget to have a darn good time with your writing. If you let the stress and the self-doubt overwhelm you, it’ll sap the fun right out of the creative process. And what’s the point in writing if you can’t have fun? That’s why you got into this game in the first place, right?

 

Writing A Novel: How To Skip Ahead In Time Smoothly

apple, black-and-white, camera

Writing a novel is like fishing without a rod or a net or a boat. Or arms or legs or a body. Fishing as a ghost…


Nothing You Haven’t Seen Before

You might be wondering exactly what we mean by ‘skip ahead’, so we thought we’d clear that up first. We refer to these as internal transitions. That translates to transitions that take place within the scene: the action moves to a new time or place but is not separated with a scene break (when the paragraphs split) or a chapter break – it just continues inside the same scene.

You’ll have seen this done in writing many times before, usually when the characters are engaged in something mundane (such as searching for something on a computer or riding in a car) or when they need to get from one place to another without it dragging on.

There are a few things you must take notice of when writing these internal transitions. You don’t want them to seem too jumpy or the reader will lose interest. You don’t want them to drag on too long or the reader will lose interest.

So, how exactly do you want them?


Crisp And Purposeful

That’s how.

First, let’s go into when you should steer clear of using the internal transition. If the skip ahead you’re making is any longer than five hours, we’d recommend using a scene or chapter break instead. That’s purely for pacing reasons. The reader will feel like they’re being tossed ahead randomly if the skipped amount of time is too large.

If the amount of time you skip is within that five hour mark, there are two different styles of skipping ahead you could try. They should both be done in different scenarios and for different reasons.

Scenario one is the simpler of the two. If you’re skipping ahead in time purely to transition through something mundane and boring, and don’t need to give any context because nothing of importance takes place, you simply tell of the skip ahead and then carry on with the scene.

Scenario two is a little more complex. This is done when you want to skip over something but still need to give the reader some detail or summary. We call this the mini flashback. You use them if the time period you skipped over contained something important: something that is relevant either later in the scene, or later in the overall plot.

We’ll show you the execution of both with some examples below.


Examples

They arrived at the station half an hour later. The doors swung open and Quinn stepped out, hugging his coffee as if it were his newborn son. The sun cast a ray of false promises across the ground in front of him. False because it was freezing. Hence the coffee-canoodling.


They arrived at the station half an hour later. During the journey, Quinn had mentioned the relevance of Jack Till, the man Patricia was seen with. They had spoken about how likely a suspect he really was. Why had he been with her? What was the connection?

Quinn stepped out, hugging his coffee as if it were his newborn son. The sun cast a ray of false promises across the ground in front of him. False because it was freezing. Hence the coffee-canoodling.


Make Sense?

The first example is what you’d do if nothing relevant happened. You’d just skip ahead and get on with the scene. The second example is how you’d position things before moving on with the next part of the writing. Make sense? Good.

Have a play around and try some of these techniques in your writing. Maybe you already have scenes that this can apply to, and would benefit from implementing these guidelines. Whatever the case, be sure to keep these tips in that mind of yours – they are really useful when it comes to great flow and pacing.

And great flow and pacing are two hugely important things. Why? Because they make for a very happy reader.

A Writing Prompt: Grit

pexels-photo-68812

The Purpose

Earlier this week with our poetry prompt, we tried out some detailed descriptions – descriptions that focus on one thing for a long time and get very, well, poetic… Funny, right? That a poem would be poetic…

You get the point.

And point is, we’re going to put what we learned on Monday to the test. We’re going to go real detailed again, but this time, it’s going to be in story style as opposed to poetic form.


The Prompt

It had been much too long since Billy Graham smelled the funfair.

The popcorn hit him first, sweet and salted both at once, as if the stall didn’t sell them separately, but instead as a combination. Next came the hotdogs, filling one nostril; donuts filled the other. Again, sweet and savoury. The scents of his life.

He put down his bag and pulled his cap to his brow. For now, he had arrived.


Try this prompt for size and create something based on it. If you do write something, please share it with us in one way or another. Tag us in a post, post it in the comments, send it to us in an email – we’d love to read your work.

Who knows? If you send something our way and we really like the way you write, we might just offer you a discount on our editing services. Or we might even edit a few chapters for free. It’s worth a try on your part.

You can reach us with your submission or with any questions/inquiries here.

DISCLAIMER: These prompts are here for you to use however you like. You can use them to aid you in short story inspiration for competitions, or even for full-length novels. They’re yours. Consider them your little gift – from us, to you. Do with them as you wish!

Writing A Novel: Don’t Wrestle With Futility

arm-wrestling, bar, bet

Writing a novel is like navigating the world in eighteen days, on foot, and you’re blind, and you have no feet.


Too Much Thought

Writers around the world share the exact same problem: they overthink like crazy.

It’s no huge secret… the community is filled with this evidence. But, that doesn’t make it an acceptable analysis. It’s not a good thing to overthink your every move. It only leads to negative self-analysis and a lack of productivity – two things the growing novelist (or any writer under any format) cannot afford to battle with.

We know that it’s hard to avoid.

Writers spend a lot of time in their heads. That’s the way of the beast. (Not that we’re calling you a beast, but you get the expression.) While spending a long period of time in no other company than that of your own mind, you’re bound to experience some hardship: thoughts. Or a lack of them.


Where Overthinking Stems From

If you ask us, overthinking comes from a dark part of your mind. It comes from that little voice in your head that tells you bad things; that tells you falsities. It’ll say that you aren’t good enough, that you never will be, that you never have been. And then you start to believe this, and subsequently, you think about it too much.

Once you get into those depths, it’s tough to pull yourself out.

In essence, overthinking comes from negativity. Don’t beat yourself up about it – it’s not your fault. Science has shown that most of the negativity you naturally produce is down to a couple of predominant factors: biology (how you’re naturally made up), and external influences during your earlier life.

Someone, or something, filled your head with negativity, and now you need to get it out.


A Specific Type Of Overthinking

We’re going to break this down into a very writerly problem. This is something you can all relate to, and by breaking this down, we hope to show you why this (and overthinking in general) is a pointless process to put yourself through.

You know when you’re working on something – a novel, a play, a poem, a short story – and you’re just not feeling it? Well, what if we told you that you need not overthink that? What if we told you that overthinking is the exact opposite of what you need to do?

Because that’s what we’re telling you.

If ever you’re writing something, and feel for more than one second that you don’t want to write it anymore, stop writing it. Now, that doesn’t mean forever. It just meas that for now, don’t do it. It doesn’t require any further thought. Put down your pen, close your laptop, switch off your mind.

Rest and breathe. Breathe and rest.

We lead short lives. You should never have to spend a single second doing anything you aren’t enjoying. That’s your number one rule, and you have to get extreme with it. Even if this project is something you’ve been working on for years… if that fire dies out, ditch it. Who knows? You may never return. And that’s fine too.

You have to follow your heart and instincts. Writing is predicated on those two factors.


Take A Break And Reassess

It’s as simple and as complicated as that. Just shut it off and refuse to overthink. If you find yourself slipping into that trap, shut your mind off from anything that isn’t positive. Play some very loud music, close your eyes, and let yourself drift into a state of nothingness.

That’s how you tackle overthinking. If something’s not right, stop doing it.

You must simply make sense of your decision; remind yourself that you’re always right. You wouldn’t continue to drive if you knew you were going to run out of fuel. It’s much the same in writing.

A Poetry Prompt: Swelling Tide

Waves Splashing at Stones on Beach during Sunset

The Purpose

You know we believe in poetry as a tool to improve your novel writing. That’s the reason we share these prompts – they can be for poets or novelists, and will be useful for honing the craft of both.

The purpose of this one is to focus on really close detail.

We want you to pen the whole piece in one tone, covering nothing more than the intricate details of the swelling tide. Get obscenely poetic with it, and push your voice to its limit. This will help you to develop a great sense of what works well in your writing, allowing you to carry these descriptions over to your novel writing.


The Prompt

Scenery/Vibe: The shoreline. Some sand and some rocks. But mainly water: jumping and swilling and bobbing and caressing.

Poem’s Message: Many things happen in life, but we can tune mostly anything out by placing insane levels of concentration on a particular thing or task.

Beach

Try this prompt for size and create something based on it. If you do write something, please share it with us in one way or another. Tag us in a post, post it in the comments, send it to us in an email – we’d love to read your work.

Who knows? If you send something our way and we really like the way you write, we might just offer you a discount on our editing services. Or we might even edit a few chapters for free. It’s worth a try on your part.

You can reach us with your submission or with any questions/inquiries here.

DISCLAIMER: These prompts are here for you to use however you like. You can use them to aid you and give inspiration for competitions, or even for full-length poetry collections. They’re yours. Consider them your little gift – from us, to you. Do with them as you wish!

A Writing Prompt: Two Wrongs Make A Crime Scene

Crime Scene Do Not Cross Signage


The Purpose

This prompt comes at you a little differently today. It’s Friday – why not have some fun?

Now, you may not enjoy writing or reading crime as a genre, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid using it in your plot. You can include crime and criminality in books outside of that genre – there’s a lot of freedom in writing these days.

You should definitely consider it.

Crime adds tons of versatility and tension to a plot. If you’re cooking up a deeply intricate tale between two newlyweds, imagine the shock the reader will feel if a dead body turns up on their doorstep.

Now, in a crime book, that’s when the detectives’ POV would take over and the real plot would begin. But in our romance, it goes deeper. The details or MO or evidence – none of that is discussed. Instead, the reader is shown how that traumatic event affects their relationship. You could even get totally out there and use the body as a deep (and slightly sick and twisted) metaphor.

Writing knows no bounds!


The Prompt

He pauses in the doorway, the beginnings of a smile spreading on his lips, and next to it, the blood. It sinks into the dimples on his cheeks, seeping into the once-innocent skin and tainting it with evil.

He takes two steps. Not one, not one and a quarter. But two, full and long. And then he drops the body on the doorstep for the entire world to see.

break in, brutal, burglar

Try this prompt for size and create something based on it. If you do write something, please share it with us in one way or another. Tag us in a post, post it in the comments, send it to us in an email – we’d love to read your work.

Who knows? If you send something our way and we really like the way you write, we might just offer you a discount on our editing services. Or we might even edit a few chapters for free. It’s worth a try on your part.

You can reach us with your submission or with any questions/inquiries here.

DISCLAIMER: These prompts are here for you to use however you like. You can use them to aid you in short story inspiration for competitions, or even for full-length novels. They’re yours. Consider them your little gift – from us, to you. Do with them as you wish!

 

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