Hotel Morpheus

Dear Reader,

I am writing this letter from the Hotel Morpheus, in the knowledge that it will probably be destroyed long before it is ever read. If by some act of great fortunate you are reading this, then they have made a mistake and you got lucky. I may never know what caused these terrors or what ill I must have performed in a previous existence to cause such apparitions to haunt me, but I feel it is my duty to record what I have seen. If you too intend to stay here, then you must keep reading, for what I am about to tell you may save your life or that of someone close to you. It would surely be better for you to spend a night walking the city streets than to remain in this building. I hope you will agree and leave upon learning the horrors that lurk within.

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  1. Don’t use adverbs unnecessarily
  2. Avoid clichés like the plague.
  3. Try not to beat around the bush by using a shed-load of really long sentences because they just clog up your writing, like a backed up drain, and make your point extremely difficult for your readers to either find, work out or even get to since the chances of them actually hacking their way through your ridiculously verbose and woolly one hundred and seventeen word sentence are unbelievably slim and they are far more likely to have simply given up or abandoned ship when they first saw how it took up four or five lines of the page when they initially opened it in their browser, so just cut to the chase — in other words, be succinct.

Strengths & Weaknesses Worksheet

Last week, I uploaded a worksheet about the way strengths and weaknesses within a group of characters could interact with one another to create balance and conflict. This week’s worksheet digs a little deeper into an individual character’s strengths and weaknesses. This one aims to explore a little of why a character has such strengths or weaknesses and might even help to create a little more backstory for your characters. You might even be able to reveal a deep wound from your character’s past, giving them something personal to fight for (or against) in your story.

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Kissing the Werewolf

When I first met Acey, I hated him. There were two reasons I didn’t like him. First was that he refused to accept my obvious superiority. Second was that he was a stranger, moving into my house uninvited. And third was that he was a werewolf.

I realise I have given you no background and right now, this sounds like Twilight, but I promise you it is nothing of the sort. Sure, there is an inter-species war and I live in a town where it rains a lot, but that’s where the similarity ends.
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Since I added a Worldbuilding Worksheet a few days ago with the aim of using your characters to help flesh out your world, I thought I’d upload a straight Questionnaire about the settings you might use in your story. Like the last one, I’ve tried to make it as comprehensive as possible, which does mean some of the boxes won’t be useful all of the time – if you use it to design a city, for example, the “Anthem” field is probably not going to get filled.
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Sometimes, the things a character eats or wears can tell you as much about the world in which they live as the character themselves. For example, a character who eats mostly plain, staple foods may be financially poor, but if they live in an isolated village, it could also be that no amount of money could possibly fix that year’s poor harvest.

The worksheet below is designed to give you some ideas about world building using the characters in the world itself. You could use it to design a single character, a family or even an entire race of people. Continue reading

It sucks. It’s true! No one tells you how much it’s going to suck. A lot of writers do complain about all the crap they have to do to promote books and get published. Writer’s block totally destroys the pace of a story. Story lines don’t always work quite like you were expecting them to work. But that’s kinda the sucky stuff you should expect from being a writer, just like anyone going to work in a swimming pool should expect to get splashed.

But here’s the thing no one is ever going to tell you about being a writer:

Gin doesn’t always help.