What we can learn from Beauty and the Beast About Plot, Tension and Obstacles

  Disney's much hyped adaptation of Beauty and the Beast was released at the weekend. The film broke box office records with an estimated $170 million, making it the seventh largest opening weekend of all time. It's a story that engages your emotions and keeps you hooked to the end. I was discussing the film with someone today who … Continue reading What we can learn from Beauty and the Beast About Plot, Tension and Obstacles

That Awkward Question: Where Do Writers Find Their Ideas?

Throes of Creation by Leonid Pasternak Yesterday I watched a really interesting set of readings from the Cheltenham Literature Festival. This was a special event (link to the programme will expire in 4 weeks) welcoming all six writers on the 2014 Man Booker Prize shortlist to the Festival: Joshua Ferris, Richard Flanagan, Karen Joy Fowler, Howard Jacobson, … Continue reading That Awkward Question: Where Do Writers Find Their Ideas?

Narrative Arc: Shaping Your Story

  What is a story arc and why is it important? A story arc is the episodes within a storyline; it is the narrative structure of a book or a story (or even a film, or a series of TV episodes). It is the rising and falling of tension, and the pacing and timbre of a plot. … Continue reading Narrative Arc: Shaping Your Story

Writing Advice And Inspiration

'A story needs rhythm. Read it aloud to yourself. If it doesn't spin a bit of magic, it's missing something.' Esther Freud 'Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.' Will Self 'I always … Continue reading Writing Advice And Inspiration

What Do Authors Have in Common with Orchestra Conductors?

The more I write, the more I am aware of  the variety of elements involved in creating a compelling story. These elements are all individual parts but they have to be pulled together to work effectively.  Alone, each part would sound  musical, lyrical, but together they create a depth of sound which cannot be created … Continue reading What Do Authors Have in Common with Orchestra Conductors?