How to make dialogue come alive

There’s nothing worse than stilted, pointless and/or confusing dialogue. As discussed in my previous post, dialogue is the quickest way to make a scene come alive and add some drama, but only if it is done correctly. Let’s examine some ground rules for dialogue. Use distinctive voices If all of your characters talk the same, your reader will have a hard time distinguishing between them and will get bored soon. Think about the voice of each of your characters. It has been molded by multiple variables, including: Background Personality traits Accent/dialect Jargon… Read More


Today’s post will focus on dialogue. Ideally, your novel will have about the same ratio of dialogue to narration. This applies to both the novel and sections within it. You’ll want to avoid pages upon pages of straight dialogue, as this will quickly fatigue your reader. Conversely, a lack of dialogue detracts from the immediacy and getting to know your character, so maintain the balance is key. Dialogue serves three main functions. It informs, it establishes characters and it moves the plot forward. Let’s examine each of these three functions closer. Dialogue… Read More

Writing description – pitfalls to avoid

Description can be difficult to write. In contrast to dialogue and action, description does not move the story forward. Nonetheless, it is important since it provides your reader with sensory information. The more vivid the images you create, the more immersed the reader will become with the story. As with anything, writing good description comes from lots of practice, which includes reading many books. But there are certain pitfalls that you should be aware of and avoid as much as possible.   Avoid using adverbs (words ending with –ly) Look at the… Read More

How to generate story ideas

To some writer coming up with a story is the easiest part of writing a novel, while for others that might prove the hardest part. No matter whether this is easy for you or require conscious effort, you won’t be able to write a book, without a clear concept of what your story is and of what you are trying to tell your reader. Below I have summarized three methods you can fall back on if you’re having trouble generating story ideas: 1.The ‘what if’ scenario In this technique you imagine an… Read More

Questions to ask before writing a novel

So you’ve had an idea, you developed your synopsis and chapter summaries as well as your character– and location sheets. But how can you check that you’ve covered the main bases rather than got lost in extraneous details? Below I have outlined nine crucial questions you need to check off before actually starting to write your novel. What does the Protagonist want? This is the deepest desire of your main character. Make it a good one. How good? So good that someone would want to read 200 to 400 pages about it…. Read More

Dos before writing a novel: Synopsis and Chapter summary

It might be tempting to sit down and start writing down the first idea you had. Perhaps it was a scene or a certain type of protagonist that you saw in your head and you’re afraid that you will lose the inspiration if you don’t start jotting everything down immediately. By all means if you have an idea do put it on paper, but I would caution you from starting a novel without having a basic outline of your book. If you don’t know your synopsis, you might find yourself writing 20,000… Read More

Orlando book festival

  Yesterday, I attended the free of charge Orlando book festival. I highly recommend the event for aspiring and seasoned writers and look forward to similar events by the library of Orlando, since it provides writers with a chance to network, and ask published authors questions. Allison Brennan, a best selling Thriller writer, gave the opening keynote. Allison’s story about how she transitioned from a ‘regular’ job to becoming a writer was really inspirational. She shared with the audience how for three years, after she had realized that she wanted to write… Read More

Character sheets

Creating characters is a crucial step before writing your novel. Your character’s psychological and physical attributes will determine the way they behave and how others relate to them. It is important to understand the objective of your characters as well as their stakes (what they have to lose or gain). Take your time when developing characters but don’t get lost in the task. The reader doesn’t need to know the favorite color or zodiac sign of your secondary characters. Below is a checklist of information you should know about your main characters…. Read More

Setting writing goals

In this blog post I will share a couple of helpful strategies for setting your personal writing goals. First, let’s start off by realizing that no goal is too minuscule. You might have seen writers on the web bragging that they write over 10, 000 words a day, a first draft in under a week and are able to bring out a book every month. Don’t despair when you see series where one book is published each month. You don’t know how many people are working on the series, how many plots… Read More

3rd Person POV in Young Adult – How to do it and successful examples

The Young Adult (YA) section has been increasingly popular in the last decade, with many books being enjoyed by adults well beyond the original 12 to 18 year old target demographic. Prime examples are The book thief, Throne of glass series Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Childrenor and the Pretty Little Liars series. An overwhelming amount of novels in YA are written from a 1st person POV (point of view), since publishers and readers often claim that this is more fitting as it creates a more immediate connection to the main character… Read More