Making stories & scenes brilliant by finding your distinctive micro world (tip 60) Reply

Sometimes I’m asked to critique a story, or a scene in a novel, that, despite being well written, is somehow kind of bland. There may be nothing wrong with it – the author communicates clearly, and uses concrete detail, and writes strong dialogue, and deploys a consistent and appropriate point of view, and doesn’t clutter her prose with adjectives or adverbs, and yet, somehow, the story or scene doesn’t leap off the page – it’s dull. One option is to make the characters more distinctive, more idiosyncratic, more unusual. But very often the solution is to take the characters and their conflict and transpose them into a distinctive micro world.

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How to write something original 2

Writers often complain that it’s hard to be original. Here’s how to write something that’s never been written before.

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Choosing relevant detail: writing, specificity, & Dan-Brown-isms 4

In our last video we discussed using specific details to make a story convincing. But specific details are not just there to make the story a bit more believable; they’re also the primary means through which the story, and all its emotion, is conveyed. So the details in your story can’t be any old details – unless you’re Dan Brown, the king of irrelevant details. Assuming you’re not Dan Brown, how do you make sure you choose the right details?

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The ripple effect: connecting private lives and public dramas Reply

Lucy Tyler introduces her concept of ‘the ripple effect’ – the connections writers make between their characters’ private lives and bigger national and global issues.

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