The Novelry Blog
Where the writers are.
...the Artful Flaw.
From the Desk of Katie Khan
Lately, I’ve become obsessed with how we first meet our favourite characters. Whether they’re honourable, ethical good guys, or down-and-out criminals with a wicked streak, how we’re first introduced to our hero’s flaw will define the shape of the story. Whether the novel will arc upwards as their situation improves – or downwards in a dramatic fall from grace.
Some common character flaws include our heroes being vain, conceited or narcissistic; lustful, libidinous or predatory; proud, deluded or boastful; angry, vengeful or rash. Your character might be more on the pathetic side of flawed – miserable, helpless and isolative; slothful, apathetic, small-minded or indifferent.
Choosing and revealing your character’s flaw is, I think, one of the hardest parts of writing a novel. It’s also the most open to misinterpretation. In early drafts we often create deeply unhappy, broken...
May You Always Be A Beginner.
- Write with innocence, wide-eyed about the vagaries of humanity and a willingness to be surprised at how low or high humans can go.
- Write with hope, that your tale will bring a smile to even one person, take another to a location they will never visit in real life, cause an individual to reflect on the human condition or guide someone on a thrilling adventure that happens in the safety of their minds/imagination.
- Write with generosity, with a heart so big that you’re willing to share your dreams and crazy ideas with someone else through words.
- Write with love, for people, life, love and everything that lies within and between.
- Write with an open heart, willing to listen to feedback that only gets you back on the computer, not down in the pits of despair.
- Write your truth. Always. That’s where authenticity comes from, that elusive quality called ‘voice’ but is really industry parlance for ‘to...
From the Desk of Kathy Lette.
As many of you writers at The Novelry will know, the best thing about being a writer is that you get to work in your PJs all day, drink heavily on the job and have affairs and call it “research”.
But I principally became an author as it involves no heavy lifting. Except for those writers who lift whole sections of other people’s work and then call it their own. But hey, you can’t have all work and no plagiarism, right?
But if you really want to be a writer, your most important assignment is to think of a witty epitaph. Spike Milligan’s was: ‘I told you I was sick.’ I think mine will be: ‘Finally – a good plot.’
I’ve been writing novels since my teens, so have been lucky enough to rub shoulder pads with many of the world’s most inspiring authors. I’ve done the limbo with Salman Rushdie, waltzed with Julian Barnes and tango-ed with Clive James. I’ve...
Bestselling Fantasy Author Tricia Levenseller explains:
- Start with a hero or heroine (make them a fierce badass i.e. a girl monster slayer)
- Pick your sub-genre (i.e. high fantasy, urban fantasy, dystopian, sword and sorcery, dark fantasy...)
- Forget about what the market wants and write for you
- Have your cake and eat it; combine the things you love your way
- Build a world that works for your combo
- Drive the plot according to your main character's overt and covert wants and needs
- Add the familiar fantasy element or trope - literally pick a preference: (i.e the chosen one, the dark lord, talking animals, the mentor, medieval magic (unicorns, elves etc.)
- Divide the quest, story or quite literally the map of the world into parts
When I decided to try writing a book for the first time, I’d been given this horrible piece of advice: write what you know. I was seventeen years old. I didn’t know what I was doing, only that I had a love of books and reading. For a...
- Life is complex and I am always trying to make sense of it.
- I like to entertain, be useful and have a role.
- I think I like being the centre of attention.
- I also hate being the centre of attention.
- I’m not great at acknowledging pain in real life but I find I’m excellent at acknowledging it on the page.
- Writers are interesting.
- Reading is empowering.
- I have a hunger to be known and understood.
- I have a desire to make connections and feel less alone.
- I cannot not.
I’ve found writing is best if:
- I don’t think about my mother reading what I have written.
- I don’t think about prizes, chart positions or reviews.
- I do think about being honest.
- I redraft and edit as I go along.
- I am disciplined and write regularly, by which I mean every day.
- I risk being unpopular, so I don’t chase a tide of popularity in terms of genre.
- I don’t copy other authors’ styles.
- I challenge myself.
- I doubt myself.
- I believe in myself.
I’ve managed to write...
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