Consistency when writing a novel—actually, when writing anything—is an essential ingredient to creating a strong story. Your writers might get a little frustrated if you spend half the story telling them that your protagonist’s bedroom is the second door on the right and then suddenly start saying it’s the third door on the right, or

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Verbs are an essential part of any sentence, but not all verbs are created equal; there are two categories of verbs: weak and strong. Strong verbs should always be chosen over weak verbs. Strong verbs hold the power to grab the reader’s attention and convey exactly what is happening: creating mood and imagery in just

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  Setting is one of the key ingredients to creating a novel that readers can immerse themselves in. Without settings, your characters would be aimlessly wandering around on blank pages talking to each other. The reader wouldn’t be able to experience the world the characters were in; they’d be more or less locked out. Avoid

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As a writer you’ve probably been told at one point or another to use active voice and avoid passive voice—perhaps it was even a teacher’s comment added at the end of a high school essay. If you’re anything like I was before I studied grammar, you probably scratched your head and thought what the heck

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Let me guess, you’ve just finished writing your novel after spending the past year pouring your soul into it—writing it, then editing it again, and again, and again. You think it’s perfect, an absolute masterpiece that will be hailed alongside the works of Agatha Christie and J.K. Rowling. There’s nothing left to do now but

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It is amazing how quickly and easily manuscripts can become confused, especially with different versions of the same one. If you have more than one copy of a manuscript, make sure they are all well labelled and even dated to ensure mistakes will not happen. There would be nothing worse than sitting for hours, writing or editing, only to find that you have been working on the wrong version. I have a system which I find works quite well:

1. When adding the file name to your original manuscript, make sure you add the word ‘original’ into the title. And then put that copy away if its complete, keep it as a reference. It will also safeguard against any unexpected happenings. Make a new copy to work with and number and/or date it. (I prefer to number it).

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