WRITING EXERCISE: Increments of a Story

Where do story ideas come from? And how do you grab hold of those raw ideas and turn them into something more.. story-ish? How come some people are able to pull amazing story concepts out of thin air and bash out a Booker Prize-winning novel before lunch, meanwhile we’re sitting here with our twelfth cup […]

WRITING EXERCISE: The moment you walked into the room…

Who fancies a wee characterisation exercise? Whether you’re making up a totally brand new fictional person, or developing a cast member from an existing work-in-progress, this exercise is a quick ‘n’ clever way of getting to know a little more about your character on various levels, eg: The image of themselves they want to project […]

writing exercise
WRITING EXERCISE: On The First Day

Saddle up, peeplets, it’s time for a fresh start. Here’s a quick ‘n’ easy writing exercise to spark off some new ideas. It’s about as simple as you can get AND YET lends itself to a numberless amount of interpretations: ON THE FIRST DAY… Is it the first day of the dawning of Aquarius? The […]

writing prompt
WRITING EXERCISE: Forbidden words

For today’s exercise, writing is hereby FORBIDDEN. Wait, what? Only kidding. But what would you do if fiction was illegal? What would you do if you were no longer allowed to write? <shudder> Getting the cold sweats just thinking about it? Yeah, us too. Thankfully, our literary freedoms haven’t been curtailed (yet) but that brief flash of outrage […]

writing exercise start at the end
WRITING EXERCISE: Start at the end

Here’s a quick ‘n’ dirty game to spark off a brand new story idea: 1) Grab a novel from your bookshelf 2) Flip to the very last page 3) Copy down the very last line of the story 4) Detach it from its narrative context and come up with a brand new premise 5) Don’t […]

How To Write Strong Characters
Pep & Prompt #2: Writing Strong Characters

If you only do one bit of writing this week, make it this

writing exercise no regrets
WRITING EXERCISE: No regerts

<LE SIGH> Where does the time go? All those things you planned on doing (like writing your novel – natch), all those things you wish you’d appreciated, all those things you wish you’d said – or didn’t say… Things pass us by. Life sideswipes us. It’s okay. It happens to the best of us. Don’t […]

Pep & Prompt #4: How Do I Create An Unsettling Atmosphere In My Story?

How do you create an unsettling atmosphere in your writing? As with any writing question there’s a hint of string-length in this, but here’s a quick and easy hack for when you just want to creep the heck out and crack on: Liminal space *cue spooky music* Liminal space exists somewhere between here and there. […]

characterisation tropes
WRITING EXERCISE: Let’s get subversive

Okay, let’s be honest. We’ve all started writing a character only to realise that we’ve inadvertently borrowed traits from well-known, well-worn stereotypes or tropes. In most cases, it’s down to not quite knowing your character well enough, and so we rely on tried and tested characteristics and quirks in an attempt to bring them to […]

Pep & Prompt #5: What’s the point?

Another rejection came rolling into my inbox this morning. <le sigh, meh, arg, etc> It’s a short story I’ve sent out a lot, and it’s been rejected every single time. It’s a story I’m actually really happy with, but hey – so it goes – no time to mope. Time instead to give it the […]

Pep & Prompt #7: Switch the POV

Howsabout a little light psychology to fuel your writing brain today? Let’s talk POV (point of view). Perspective makes a BIG difference to a story. How would we feel about Adam (the ‘Monster’) if Frankenstein had only offered us Victor’s whiny little point of view? Can you imagine Star Wars from Vader’s perspective? Would we end up […]

mindful writing
Mindful Writing (without the wafty bits)

Let’s start with a little disclaimer, shall we? Although we all love a bit of yoga and nature and witchiness at WHQ, we’re not exactly the most mindful bunch. We’re a little more ragey-sweary-gin-swigging-talking-a-mile-a-minute kinda peeps. And sometimes the whole mindfulness movement makes us eyeroll just a little bit (sometimes it’s really super tricky to […]

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