The montage technique: writing better summaries (tip 46) Reply

In film-making, montage refers to the technique in which a series of clips are edited into a sequence in order to convey succinctly what happens over a longer time or a wider space. It’s a form of summary in which, rather than providing a general overview, the director gives an impression of everything that happens through a few examples. Strangely, nobody ever discusses how prose writers use this technique, even though novelists have been writing montages for hundreds of years. Here’s how!

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Story time versus narrative time (tip 43) Reply

Time in life is inflexible – if you’re stuck in a traffic jam, there’s no way to fast forward to the excitement of your destination. But in writing, time is infinitely malleable. Good writers are able to vary the relationship between narrative time and story time to highlight key incidents.

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Choosing your point of view: when to write in the first person (tip 40) Reply

Many of us begin writing in the first person, often without considering whether it’s the best point of view for our story. So here’s a link to a test that can help decide whether first person is right for you. And here, in the video below, you’ll find D.D. Johnston’s reflections on meeting Richard Ford, and on when writing in the first person is and isn’t a good idea.

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