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Using Symbolism in Fiction

Commercially, symbolism gets a bit of a bad rap these days – possibly because of literature lessons delving far too deeply into why the curtains in a certain scene were blue. Does this choice of color represent the tranquil stillness of the homeowner’s mind at the time the scene takes place? Or did blue just [...]

By | March 21st, 2018|The Craft of Writing|7 Comments

Tension Techniques: The Sly Art of Stalling

There was a man who wanted to rob a bank and escape with the money. He did. The End. Succinct, right? But unless you’re working on some flash fiction (and sometimes, even if you are), every story needs elements of suspense and tension. And these take time to build. You need to spread them out [...]

By | March 19th, 2018|The Craft of Writing|5 Comments

Is There a Difference Between Perspective and POV?

There are those of us who tend to use ‘point of view’ and ‘perspective’ interchangeably – whether we’re talking about the technical aspects of writing or just simple everyday conversation. For example, you’ve probably said (or heard someone else say) something like this: “My point of view is the book could use more work. What’s [...]

By | March 14th, 2018|The Craft of Writing|6 Comments

How to Foreshadow with Flair

Few outstanding stories don’t include at least a couple of instances of foreshadowing – because, in tight fiction, everything happens for a reason. Real life may be dull, filled with disconnected events that are purely coincidental (hence, ‘stranger than fiction’) but this doesn’t tend to translate well to the page. In storytelling, action and consequence [...]

By | March 12th, 2018|The Craft of Writing|7 Comments

6 Commonly Confused Homophones

If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to get your proofreaders and editor on your case with a vengeance, it’s falling prey to homophone confusion. Homophones are words that sound alike when you’re speaking out loud but have different spellings and completely different definitions. It might seem, to some, like a small thing – but using [...]

By | March 7th, 2018|Editing, The Craft of Writing|20 Comments

Dodging the Deus Ex Machina

The phrase deus ex machina is one that you’ve likely encountered throughout your literary travels. Latin for god from the machine, it describes an unexpected and sudden event which saves a hopeless situation. Allegedly, the phrase’s roots go all the way back to ancient Greece, where many a play would see an actor lowered from [...]

By | March 5th, 2018|The Craft of Writing|10 Comments