Avoiding Deus ex Machina

Ex Machina.jpgDeus Ex…what?

Originally this term meant “God from the Machine” and was in reference to when a “god” character in a play was lowered on stage via a cable device. The god was often brought in as a divine intervention for a situation that was unfixable.

The term has changed now and is used as a negative connotation to explain a sudden illogical plot twist used to completely alter a situation. Sadly this sort of thing happens in fiction whereby someone or something is introduced into the plotline just to create a contrived solution to an unsolvable issue / conflict.

Continue reading

Stop all the hate

Teamwork concept. People hands pulling the rope on grey background

So, I’m seeing a lot of negativity from some writers on the net.

Since creative people are tangled in a vast swathe of emotions and sensations, negativity is certainly part of that tapestry and it has it’s place.

But too much and everything becomes dull. Now the negativity I’m speaking of isn’t even the expected kind – you know that self-hating, self-doubting type we writers sometimes find following us around like a bad smell.

Continue reading

Avoiding blind spots

man hiding behind ask mark

All writers have blind spots with their writing. The idea is to identify them and start avoiding falling into the trap.

So, what do I mean by blind spot?

An easy example is a writer who loves action. You’ll find their fight scenes, dynamic rescues and car chases are extremely detailed. You the reader will be drawn into the stinging smoke of a house fire while the hero battles through flesh-melting heat to escape…

This is not a blind spot (in case you were wondering). The blind spot comes from another aspect of the story.

Continue reading

Writing Chapter One

The beginning

Today’s post is going to be on writing the beginning of your story.

Now I will admit that I am not a fan of writing the first chapter. Even with a solid outline I never start on Chapter one.

I much prefer to jump into the middle and start writing… in fact I don’t often follow the logical, linear path of the story even if I know it. But any-who that’s just my style. Eventually, even I have to get around to writing the first chapter.

Continue reading

Think about your Readers

Think about your readersMaybe it seems a little weird to point out that writers should think about their readers… but I’ve seen enough stories dotted around the internet to know it needs to be said.

Okay, let’s step back one second – if you are writing for the sheer love of writing and care only about entertaining yourself and never showing your work to anyone ever, great. You don’t need to consider the reader (because you already know “you”, right?)
Continue reading

Writing Tutorial – Show don’t Tell

Show dont tellWhat writer hasn’t heard the advice “Show, don’t tell!” However I have noticed that some people just use this as the advice itself. As if saying to a new writer “show me, don’t tell me” is enough.

Not everyone will instantly understand and that’s why do many new writers ask about this key concept.

I think Showing rather than Telling is a pretty fundamental piece of writing advice and can really set writers apart. New writers often fall into the trap of telling their story rather than showing it. But if you are a new writer you are meant to fall into all these mistake pits – how else are you meant to learn and grow.
Continue reading