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The Future Bookshelf Blog

‘For me the best way to plot a novel is to begin with the grand idea: the oh-my-god twist, the incredible finale, the amazing concept’

  Should writers know their ending from the beginning? What is the best way to plot a novel? Some authors famously claim never to plot (which I’ve always believed to be ludicrous!); others don’t begin […]

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Why you should enter more writing competitions

The Creative Future Literary Awards are open to under-represented writers in the UK until 26 June. Creative Future Director Dominique De-Light and Project Manager, Sarah Juckes, introduce the Creative Futures Literary Awards and explain why […]

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‘Plot is all about discovery’

  Plot is all about discovery. What am I reading a novel to discover? What is promised in the first chapters that will keep me reading through the next 250-odd pages, and how is the […]

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‘I tend to start with one character, that’s all: the protagonist’

I tend to start with one character, that’s all: The protagonist whose story it is. The other characters who join the cast, are there, really, to help the protagonist achieve what they need to. The […]

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‘I don’t need to like my protagonists. I need to be curious about them and I must respect their intelligence’

There are as many protagonists as there are personalities in our vast world. There are anti-heroes and do-gooders. There are dragon slayers and gardeners. The choice you make will be as personal as your choice […]

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‘A character doesn’t have to be likeable to be great’

The characters of a book are what really make me want to read it. And if the book is really good, they’re what will stick with me for years after I’m done turning the last […]

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‘Let your characters speak; they will tell you things about themselves’

Choose names carefully; they can add another layer of significance to your story from Masterclass: Writing Plays by Lesley Bown & Ann Gawthorpe   Names carry great significance and your choice of names for your characters […]

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Choose a protagonist from your story.

Choose a protagonist from your story and spend ten minutes learning more about your character’s traits. With a little thought, you can sculpt the four cornerstones of your character in progress. Ask yourself the following […]

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‘I began to imagine my characters as the Scooby Gang’

I think character types are a useful starting point. In my debut, Hollow Pike, I remember the teen characters all sounded too similar to being with. I began to imagine them as the Scooby Gang […]

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‘Let your characters speak; they will tell you things about themselves’

Understand your character better by letting them speak from Complete Creative Writing Course by Chris Sykes     Creating characters through monologues   A monologue is a long speech spoken by someone in a play. […]

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‘To create characters the reader will care about, first you have to get to know them’

The characters we remember are as complex as the people we have in our lives from Your Creative Writing Masterclass by Jurgen Wolff   For many authors, characters are the starting point and the plot […]

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‘For me, the most seductive characters in fiction have always been the strangers’

It was Tolstoy who pronounced that ‘All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town’. He was talking, of course, about plot – and […]

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