Where am I? Somewhere over Arkansas. (Remember Carmen Sandiego?)
Today is a sad day. It’s my last Inside a Dog post. The madness has come to an end. Excuse me while I sob uncontrollably. On a positive note, I’ve got lots for you today, including the announcement of the winner of my first line competition! But first, I thought I would give some of my favourite bloggers the privilege of asking me some questions. Well, actually, I begged them.
If there's something strange
in your manuscript
Who ya gonna call?
YOUR WRITING GROUP
My first piece of advice to aspiring writers is to read. Read everything.
My second piece of advice is to join a writers’ group. Even if you’re young. Even if you’re shy. Even if you haven’t finished your manuscript. Join a writers’ group. I could tell you why you should join a writers’ group, but instead I’ll let some other fabulous authors tell you first.
We all want and need stuff. Love, sausage rolls, the new OPI colour.
I was going to wait until Valentine's Day to put up this post but I'm just way too excited to wait. Today, I have something extra special for you special people. In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I've got one of the most romantic and magical chapters from my young adult novel, Masquerade for you! And if that's not awesome enough, there's a beautiful drawing of a scene from this chapter further down by the amazing Jemina Venter. Now because it's chapter 22, here's a bit of context for you.
If you write fantasy, you’ll have heard of “worldbuilding”. It’s the process of constructing an imaginary world, knowing everything about that world from the biggest detail to the smallest detail (including if they have marvelous things called chicken nuggets or not). When you write historical fiction, you need to be a world builder too, but the world you are building once existed and the only way you can do that is with research.
If you think of a book as a train, then the first line is the locomotive. Woo, Woooooooo! (Sorry, couldn’t help myself). Like the locomotive, the first line pulls the story along and gets it going. You don’t want readers getting off at the next stop, or worse jumping off the train! When a first line is strong and powerful, readers know they are in for a great ride. So what makes a killer first line?