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OCTOBER OWLS | Character-led plotting by Samantha Bond

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Several years ago, I developed a course on plotting. Like many things, I created it out of my desire to understand something better, in this case, ‘plot’. There are so many methods bandied about by writers and especially movie makers (Hero’s Journey or Save the Cat anyone?) that it’s difficult to keep it simple and find what works for you. I’ve been surprised by the popularity of this course, but I suspect that like my situation, many of you just want plot to be simple to understand and apply in your writing. The reason I was interested in plot was …

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SEPTEMBER OWLS | Fear of a different blank page

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Taking the plunge: your book submission pack with Janet Gover As writers, fear of the blank page is something we all understand. But the blank page I fear is not the one that says Chapter XX at the top. It’s the page that has the word Synopsis at the top. And the one that starts, Dear (agent or editor)… For me, the hardest part of being a writer is not coming up with ideas. My head is swimming with those. The hard part is letting go and sending my book out into the world to be read by someone else. …

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SEPTEMBER OWLS | Pen a kick-arse short story in 9 easy steps!

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Mastering the Art of Storytelling: Learn how to pen a kick-arse short story with Libby M Iriks Writing isn’t hard. Anyone can put words on a page. In fact, there are countless five-year-old children around the world learning to pen their names as you read this. Storytelling, on the other hand, is an art form, and it takes time to master. Experts have been known to say a person must write half a million to a million words before they can consider themselves a capable storyteller. Now, I know what’s running through your head—how many manuscripts does that equate to …

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JULY OWL | How To Pace Tension in Fiction

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The Importance of matching suspense to the fluctuations of plot Tension is a critical element of all stories and needs to be maintained in order to keep readers turning the pages, but how does this correspond to the fluctuations of plot? There can’t be life-threatening situations in every chapter, nor are all stories about mortal danger. So, let’s explore how you can match the fluctuations in a story’s plot to the level of tension.

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MARCH OWL | Spell Casting: an introduction to the craft of writing with Karina Coldrick

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Hindsight is 20:20 by Karina Coldrick When I decided I wanted to shift careers and become a writer, I made a big mistake. One single assumption that cost me years of thrashing around with grammar and punctuation and throttling my creativity. If I had a time-turner and could change one thing, it’d be this: become a storyteller.

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MARCH OWL | Building your online author profile with Kate Larsen

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It’s more important than ever for writers to think about building an online author profile – even before they’ve been published. Join literary-sector leader and social media evangelist Kate Larsen’s OWL to find out what options are available to you online, how to use them to your best advantage, and how to balance your writing time alongside the time you need to spend building your brand.