Why Every Story Needs Its Own Pit of Snakes

More good tips from Drew Chial.

Drew Chial

1. Snakes

How to Make Your Character’s Lowest Moment Truly Nerve Wracking

Every story should have a tragedy. Even stories with happy endings need at least one.

Disney’s animated classic Cinderella has three. The first two tragedies happen during the opening narration. Cinderella’s mother dies. Her father marries the wicked step mother and dies shortly after. Cinderella is forced into a life of servitude. The third tragedy happens when Cinderella’s step-sisters tear her dress apart. That tragedy seems inconsequential compared to everything Cinderella has been through, but we’ll see why of all these events the destruction of the dress is the most important one.

The death of Cinderella’s parents make us sympathetic to her plight. Its a life altering event sure to rock anyone’s foundation. So why is it so much more tragic when the wicked stepsisters tear up her dress? After all it’s a garment, meant to be worn once, while…

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Coming to terms with ‘your first novel might not be everyone’s cup of tea’ comment #Writer 

Ah, that first novel…….



As a fresh faced newbie writer you can find yourself believing that everyone will LOVE what you write.

In your head everyone (let me just emphasize everyone) will buy your first book and be thinking about it for weeks after reading it. Why wouldn’t they? You are shiny new writing talent.

So, picture this, there you are lying on your sofa daydreaming about EVERYONEreading and loving your debut novel. You got a bit over excited earlier with the daydream and have now been forced to lie still, hugging your manuscript, with a cold damp flannel over your forehead.

Cut your loved one’s helpful comment:

Youdo understand that your first book might not be everyone’s cup of tea don’t you love?”

Cue your garbled scream and the cold damp flannel being flung across the living room:

“What are you saying? You mean my book won’t appeal to EVERYONE?”


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10 Things we think we need to do before we start writing #Writer #amwriting

I love the ‘jig saw’ excuse. I’m guilty of a few of these, lol.


Here are 10 things we think we need to do before we actually start writing. If we are honest all we are doing is tricking ourselves and putting off the hard biti.e. ’sit down at the desk and actually write’ stage.

  1. Get some fresh air. “I am just going to nip out and clear my head before I start writing.”
  2. Have a coffee. “I am just going to make myself a coffee before I start writing.”
  3. Vacuuming. “I am just going to run the hoover over before I start writing.”
  4. Call someone. “I am just going to make a quick (yea right!) phone call before I start writing.”
  5. Nip to the shops. “I am just going to nip to the shops and get some essentials before I start writing.”
  6. Cook tea. “I am going to cook tonight’s meal before I start writing…..yes I know its 8am in the morning.”

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A Question About Diversity in Fiction

Do you go into great detail about the physical appearance of the characters in your books? Interesting perspective on this from Drew Chial.

Drew Chial

Many MesThe Pros and Cons of Concealing Certain Character Traits

There are good reasons to avoid identifying a character’s ethnicity, exact age, and body type in your writing, especially when these traits aren’t crucial to understanding their actions. By revealing these specifics you limit the casting options in your readers’ heads. You make it harder for some members of the audience to see themselves in the role. If you leave these elements ambiguous your lead could be anyone your readers want.

At the time of this writing there’s stubble on my face. If I’m reading a story with a male lead I’m likely to imagine him with stubble too, until the author tells me he’s clean shaving. I’m six foot four, I have dirty blond hair, and greying sideburns as is every male lead of the books I read, until the author tells me otherwise.

I’m never heartbroken when one of these…

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