Author: Claire Bradshaw

Ultimate Guide: How To Work With Beta Readers

So you've finished writing, rewriting and self-editing your novel. It should be ready for professional editing, self-publishing or querying now, right? Well, there's actually one more step in the process that we suggest you add: working with beta readers. You've probably heard the term 'beta reader' floating around the publishing sphere. …

5 Surefire Ways To Raise The Stakes Of Your Story

Every story must have stakes. Stakes (especially high ones) keep the plot moving, keep the characters growing and changing, and keep your readers engaged. Without high stakes, your story may feel flat, the pacing of your plot may lag, or the page-turning tension may falter. So, let's delve into what …

The Complete Guide To Bullet Journaling For Writers

You may have seen the terms 'bullet journal' or even #bujo floating around lately. Bullet journaling is a hugely popular method of organising, documenting and reflecting on your day-to-day life. It's a customisable combination of journal, diary, notebook, to-do list – and anything else you want to add, really! Bullet journals …

Top 7 Tips For Researching Your Novel

Research is a given when writing non-fiction texts. Journalists and authors of non-fiction books are no strangers to researching a piece before they start writing – but what about fiction authors? If you're writing a novel and wondering whether you need to research it, the answer is generally yes. The same …

7 Common Mistakes To Avoid In Your First Chapter

Recently, we delved into what makes a great opener for a novel, covering the key elements to include in your first chapter. But just as there are important elements you should aim to include, there are also elements you should strive to avoid. As we discussed previously, your first chapter has the power …

7 Key Elements To Include In Your First Chapter

The importance of your novel's first chapter cannot be underestimated. It's the chapter that introduces your book to the world – the chapter that needs to draw in agents and publishers and readers alike. (No pressure or anything!) Unfortunately, there's no predetermined formula for a perfect first chapter. Every story …

5 Clichés To Avoid In Your Fantasy Novel

Like any genre of fiction, fantasy is susceptible to a wide range of clichés. Unfortunately, it can be all too easy to fall into the trap of using repetitive, unoriginal tropes and traditions. Fantasy fiction demands certain essential elements to fit into the genre and reach the right audience – and …

5 Essential Elements Every Fantasy Novel Needs

So you want to write a fantasy novel. You're enamoured with epic sagas from the likes of Tolkien, Martin and Rowling; you love everything about the genre, and you feel that you have your own fantasy story to tell. But this is a complicated genre to write in. While there aren't hard-and-fast rules to follow, …