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Three Writers discuss settings

A good description gives the reader the feel of the place in which the story is set, and therefore, the mood of the story itself. The description should convey emotion. If it’s flatly realistic, it’s probably not doing its job. 

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Writing Tips: How to hook the reader

The writer’s first task is to hook the reader to the story. Hooking the reader means first of all getting them interested in the protagonist. Once they’re interested, they’re more likely to keep turning the page.

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Three writers talk about author branding

Author branding is about promising a certain reading experience. “Brand” means having a recognisable, consistent voice and approach from book to book, so your fans know what to expect. It doesn’t mean you have to write the same thing over and over.

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Writing Tips: The first person point of view

When using the first person, it’s important to understand that this character plays two roles: that of the storyteller and that of a player in the drama. These two roles jostle side by side as the narrative progresses. 

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Three Writers report on the Romance Writers of Australia Conference

Apart from 350-ish women, three wise men attended this year’s Romance Writers of Australia conference in Sydney. Why were the three men wise? Because it is the biggest and most professional conference for writers in Australia.

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Writing Tips: The turning point

The turning point in a novel looks a lot like a plot thumbscrew. It’s a collision of two or more storylines that twists the plot in an unexpected new direction. But the turning point differs in one important respect.

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Three Writers discuss the pot-holed path to publication

Welcome to our cross-blog, which offers tips on writing. Every month Sydney Smith will discuss some aspect of the writing craft with Jennifer Scoullar and Kathryn LedsonThis month we tell our how-we-got-published stories and we welcome your questions and comments.

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Writing Tips: Character flaw as a genre convention

Character flaw can apply to genre fiction as well as literary fiction. Quite often, character flaw is one of the conventions of a given genre. For example, in crime fiction, the detective will be very good at his or her job, but their private life is usually a shambles.

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Writing Tips: Character flaw

When the protagonist has a character flaw that prevents them from getting what they want, the story deepens and becomes more richly layered. This character flaw can be called the internal antagonist. It drives the protagonist to act against their own best interests, while also blinding them to that fact. 

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Three writers discuss plot triggers

A plot trigger (or inciting incident) launches the story. It’s the protagonist’s call to action – the thing that sets the story in motion and gives our protagonist a problem to solve. Anything before the plot trigger is scene setting, characterisation, back story, etc.

A plot trigger can come in many forms. The discovery of a body, a letter in the mail, a desperate plea on the telephone, perhaps even a conversation or epiphany.

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