September 9, 2017

What does it smell like?

Hi guys, In keeping with our current theme of the senses, let me talk to you about how smell is addressed in a narrative. Now, smell is important; not as important as say the sense of sight and the sense of hearing. When a writer wants to build in a sense of smell into their world they approach it in two different ways: He smelt her perfume wafting over the room. He smelt the slight smell of flowers in the air. Each way has its merits and its drawbacks. The first one uses our own knowledge of the sense of smell and calls upon our own remembrance of what that the thing smells like. “He could smell bacon in the house”, “The smell of sweat hung in the air”. This approach works best when the setting is familiar to the audience. If your […]
September 2, 2017

Notice what they notice

Hi guys. My mother has always been very supportive of my writing career. She was always telling me to write all the senses to create a complete picture of the environment. This is true, if you use all the senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, taste and even emotion; the reader can truly experience the scene. There is one small caveat on this. Ask yourself what would my character notice? This may seem like an odd question but bare with me. A doctor will notice different things than say a thief, a woman would notice different things than say a man. Let me demonstrate, with two men. For this exercise I will only focus on what they see, to make it easier. ‘He came upon a blonde elf lying on a bed of moss, her white dress tight against the swell of her breasts […]
March 18, 2017

Level 3 stories

I have talked about stories that run over the length of many books, and even stories that have run over just one book, but what about characters that only get a tiny mention? Characters that only appear because all your other characters are doing other things, like being heroic. These characters can have their own backstories, hopes, dreams and ambitions. They play only a small part in the story that you are telling, but that doesn’t mean that they should be cardboard cut-outs. I know you don’t want to give too much attention to these characters because it could detract from the main characters and the story. These characters should have stories and have their own motivations. It doesn’t have to be greatly fleshed out with its own book, but don’t chop your own legs off by surrounding your main characters with plastic or […]
September 8, 2016

1, 2, 3, Story

This is a follow up from the level 1 overarching story where I put forth the idea that a series needs its own story. The Characters are meant to grow and develop as the series grows and the challenges that the hero or heroine is also meant to get stronger. Here I will be looking at how to create the story for just one book. My series that I am currently writing is the Rosethorn Chronicles. It follows a family that tracks down a suit of armour that is truly beyond reckoning. With each successive book the family must race another family to find the same equipment. Without giving too much away, the first piece- the sword- turns up in ‘The Bloodwood Curse’. A story needs several things, I know this sounds pretty basic; a beginning, a middle and an end. In each […]