13 Reasons Why and how not to do suspense

13 Reasons Why is a hit teen Netflix drama based on the YA novel by Jay Asher. It did so many things right, except using false suspense to pad episodes, when it should have just been shorter.

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rape in fictional worlds

Raping your Female Characters isn’t the Only Way to Depict a Harsh Fictional World

I recently had THAT conversation again; the one where I criticise a fictional world for gratuitous use of rape and sexual aggression against women, only for fans of said universe to defend it by telling me how it’s a harsh world and that’s what would happen. It’s a tiring conversation, so here’s why you don’t have to use rape to ensure your readers know your world is horrible.

Writing a mirror scene

How and Why to Write a Mirror Scene

An effective mirror scene offers another layer to a character’s point of view, by creating a moment in a story where a character catches sight of their own reflection. This moment is generally followed by a realisation, which can be a passing moment of

Christmas gifts for writers

11 Christmas Gifts for Writers

Avoid novelty typewriter-based jewellery, such as cuff-links and get something a writer might actually use. We’ve scoured the web for 10 Christmas gift ideas you won’t be ashamed to give any writer.

The Second Life of Bethany Sweet

Originally posted on Martine Lillycrop:
The afterlife has always fascinated me. I don’t believe we only get one shot at getting it right. One life, then judgement and an eternity of suffering or bland repose. It seems too simplistic for the complex vortex of matter and energy our universe is made up of. Nor do I believe…

6 Reasons Autumn is Good for Writers

It feels like autumn is here, which means writers have six good reasons to stay in and just write. Don’t despair, if you’ve had an unproductive summer. You’re not alone. Just remember that living life is important too and gives you fuel for the time you do spend writing.

Old writer new insight

Old Writer, New Insight

I often cringe when re-reading something I wrote years ago. It’s not necessarily the content (though it’s often that, too), but the way it’s written. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that old work seems immature and less skilled in hindsight. We’re developing as people, as well as writers, and our mind-set is fluid. What interested us, and…