Posts

7 Tips To Turn Your Short Story Into A Novel

Image
How often as a short story writer have you received the feedback, ‘Loved the story,  I wanted to know more.’? Great, isn’t it? What follows here is how you might, as a writer, make that happen by turning an engaging short story into a full-length novel.  I will use as an example Edna and Goliath,  a story that won first prize for me in a writing competition a few years ago and which, should you be interested, is still available to read online on Bridgend Writers Circle website .  A well-precedented process Many successful novels started out as short stories.  In 1923, Virginia Woolf’s story Mrs Dalloway in Bond St featured in the literary magazine, The Dial. Two years later, her novel, Mrs Dalloway ,  was published, the first sentence of each differing by only one word.   More recently, in 2010, NoViolet Bulawayo’s short story Hitting Budapest appeared in The Boston Review. Three years later, it became the first chapter of her prize-winning debut novel  We Need New Names .   There a

How To Keep Deadlines - Musings From a Serial Procrastinator

Image
When discussing the importance of deadlines, it is almost compulsory to quote Douglas Adams to justify not meeting them, so I won’t. Because I know it isn’t funny or clever to miss them.   But I do miss them.  Repeatedly. I don’t know what it is about deadlines, but they’ve always felt like a starting point rather than a place to end up. Come deadline day I must tidy up, finish everything else in the world that could possibly need to be done, and then, once I have a clear work space and a nice clean sheet of paper, sure enough, I can begin. Except, I can’t pretend to have even that level of respect for deadlines. As they pass, I experience a moment of silence. I think, ‘just this once, did I get away with it without anybody chastising me? Can I put it off to the weekend, or to a couple of nights next week?’ Before I know it, two weeks have gone by and a chasing email finally comes in asking whether I’ve had the chance to do anything. All very polite. All enough to prick my conscience.

Shortlist 2021 - Did you make the cut?

Image
Exeter Writers Competition News - The Short-List Announcement! Well done to everyone who's made it onto this list — you're all worthy candidates. Give us a shout out on social media to celebrate (we're @ExeterWriters), but if you do, please remember that you mustn't identify yourself as the writer of any specific story.  If your name isn't on the list, don't be sad. There are plenty of reasons why your story might not have made the cut.  This year we've seen some really epic stories but unfortunately only one can win. Narrowing down our list of possible winners has been tricky — and if you're hearing Run DMC in your head right now, you're not alone. If you're confident your story was good enough, it does no harm to check out some of our other posts on short story writing to see if there's anything you can do to tweak it further:  Five Ways To Give Your Story a Wow Factor Ending , Secrets to Win Exeter Writers Short Story Competition , Write Y

Writing Historical Fiction Based on True Stories – How to Get Started on Your Journey into the Past

Image
So, you’ve decided to write a historical novel? Good decision! Historical novels based on true events need to be researched, and like any other writing project, the novel needs to be structured with a good premise, plot and characters. However, there are particular challenges in the writing process for a historical novel.  Here, I offer a few tips to get started based on my own journey of writing novels about the past. What Period of History Do You Want to Write About? This is where a writer can get stuck; at the very beginning, not even on the first page. We all have different reasons for choosing the historical period and settings for our novels, and there’s truth in the old adage: ‘write what you know.’ Some authors have naturally found their genre based on their previous knowledge or professions: Clive Cussler’s time in the military and his work in underwater exploration certainly contributed to his historical novels set in the early 1900s, such as The Spy , a naval adventure invol