Categories
Craft Publishing

Writing Competitions for 2024

Why enter competitions? 

It helps you get seen and gives you a headstart in building a writing portfolio.

What does it mean to build a writing portfolio? 

You might be familiar with this term if you have queried. Often, a publishing house will ask for an example of your portfolio or a ‘writing CV’. So, if you’re writing your debut novel…how do you build a writing portfolio?

Answer: By writing short stories, articles, and poetry and submitting them to anthologies, reviews, competitions, and opportunities. This shows that you are already putting yourself out there and connecting with a readership. This makes you more marketable!

February 

Writers’ & Artists’ Short Story Competition 2024

Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize

March

The L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest – Quarterly deadlines throughout the year

Micropoetry competition 2024: 200 years of creativity 

April

First Pages Prize

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest.

May

The Bath Novel Award 

The Yeovil Literary Prize 

The Bridport Prize 

June

Welsh Poetry Competition 

Short Story Competition – Anthology

July

The Lascaux Prize in Short Fiction 

V.S. Pritchett Short Story Prize

Manchester Fiction Prize

August

The Edinburgh Award for Flash Fiction
 
Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 

Aurora Prize for Writing 2024

September

The Lit Paul Cave Prize for Literature

Mslexia Novel Competition

October

Letter Review Prize for Unpublished Books

The Book Edit Writers’ Prize

November

Kurt Vonnegut Speculative Fiction Prize 

Leiby Chapbook Contest

December

Daisy Pettles Writing Contest for Women 

Reader Views Literary Awards 

 

Do you want to talk about what you can enter or what to write? Get in touch today! 

Categories
Coaching

6 Reasons to Hire a Writing Coach

Why would you hire a writing coach? A writing coach can be a valuable resource, providing guidance, support, and expertise throughout the writing and publishing process. Here are six reasons why a writing coach may be right for you:

  1. Guidance and Expertise: A writing coach brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. As a writing coach myself, I have studied to understand the intricacies of storytelling, character development, plot structure, and other essential elements of writing a book. If you need help or guidance through the writing process, a writing coach can help you navigate challenges and provide insights to improve your creative writing skills.
  2. Accountability and Motivation: Writing a book can be a long and solitary journey, and it’s easy to get discouraged or lose motivation along the way. One of the things a writing coach is wonderful for is providing you with accountability and keeping you on track with your goals. They can help you set deadlines that are realistic, provide feedback on your progress, and help keep you motivated.
  3. Objective Feedback and Critique: One of the most valuable aspects of working with a writing coach is receiving objective feedback on your writing. From providing constructive criticism to pointing out areas for improvement, writing coaches can identify strengths and weaknesses in your manuscript and offer suggestions on how to improve it.
  4. Tailored Guidance and Support: A writing coach can provide personalized guidance that suits your specific needs and goals. They can help you develop your unique writing voice, provide strategies for plot development or character arcs, and assist with overcoming writer’s block or other challenges you may encounter. Working with a writing coach ensures that you receive individualized support tailored to your writing journey.
  5. Industry Knowledge: Writing coaches often have insights into the publishing industry and can offer guidance on the next steps once your manuscript is complete. They can advise you on query letters, finding literary agents or publishers, self-publishing options, or marketing your book. Why does this matter? This can save you a huge amount of time and help you make informed decisions about your writing and the future of your creative career.
  6. Confidence and Emotional Support: Writing a book can be an emotional process, and it takes grit and determination. A writing coach can provide the encouragement you need to stay motivated and, most importantly, believe in your work. They can help you build confidence in your writing abilities and overcome mindset blocks that might be holding you back.


Ultimately, a writing coach is like a personal trainer for your creative life. If you’re seeking guidance, accountability, and expert support, working with a writing coach may be the right choice for you.

As a Certified Professional Coach, trained by an ICF company and with an ILM Level 2, you can trust that my coaching skills are tried and tested. As a writer with a PhD, MA and BA in Creative Writing, and over six years of lecturing in adult education and at universities, I’m a professional writer specialising in helping others find their way forward. 

Any questions? Feel free to get in touch.

Want to read something similar? Check these out!

What is a Writing Coach?
4 Ways to Edit Your Own Writing

Categories
Productivity

How I Wrote 12,000 Words in Six Days

I have just finished running the Writing Week Retreat with my fellow writer, editor and coach, Isobelle (of Inspired Creative Co.), and it was wonderful. We had some fantastic writers join us from around the world, and overall, the final word count for the week was over 50,000 words between us. That’s an amazing achievement for six days! Let’s talk about how we did it.

1 – Community

For me, there is nothing as powerful as community support when it comes to writing. I thrive when surrounded by writers, whether in real life or virtually, and I have witnessed the impact on others, too. During the retreat, we had two hour-long writing sprints a day. Having that dedicated time meant we could focus on our words with others.

Your Task: Find your community. 

2 – Goals

My goal at the start of every hour-long writing sprint was to write as much as I knew I could – 1000 words in one hour. I know that I can write this because this is my creative data (if you’re not sure what I mean, check this blog post out!), and so I pushed myself to achieve this goal. This meant that my 12000 word achievement was my goal all along, and I am delighted to have made it!

Your task: Discover your creative data and set realistic goals. 

3 – Plans

I’m a dedicated plotter, but during the retreat, I tried something completely different. I had an idea of where I wanted my story to go, and I discussed it with others, but overall I allowed myself to be a discovery writer. This means that the characters took me where they wanted to go, and out of that came a story I absolutely love. While it does differ from my original idea, I am loving the new tale, and the process is exciting and really fun.

Your task: Don’t be too rigid in terms of plans, allow yourself to discover too!

4 – Vision

To help visualise my finished book, I played with title ideas and covers on Canva. The mocked-up image is below! This sort of thing really helps when it comes to picturing the finished novel, which helps motivate me to create and write more.

Your task: Give your work in progress a title and a cover. It doesn’t have to be final.

5 – Craft 

Despite having spent eight years in higher education learning the craft of Creative Writing, there is always more to learn. That’s why one of my values is education! During the retreat, Isobelle and I ran classes on everything from character arcs to raising the stakes, and our focus on that craft element helped tighten up my prose.

Your task: Don’t be afraid to improve your craft and take a class. 

Are you looking for community, creativity, and craft advice? Well, stay tuned. We have more planned and can’t wait to share it with you.

If you still need to grab your copy of the Story Development Workbook (unfortunately, we have had issues with Etsy on their end!), it is now available. Click here to learn more because this workbook is jam-packed with help, and you don’t want to miss it!

Categories
Productivity

Want to get more done? Shrink your goals.

So you want to get more done, write a novel, a bestselling book, a work of non-fiction, a book of short stories, a poem. It can feel overwhelming to sit down and just *begin* and while some people seem to have that knack and talent, I am certainly not one of them.

The world is a distracting place. We have to work during the day and have family responsibilities, and our desire to write a novel might be high on our list of dreams, but it isn’t always high on our priorities list. Why? Because the dog needs to be fed, and there’s a weird stain on the ceiling, that’s why.

So, want to know the secret to getting it done? Three words:

Shrink your goals. 

You might be baulking at this because this is the opposite of what you have read. Perhaps it’s even the opposite of what your writing coach has told you: Dream big! Bigger! BIGGER!! But, here’s the thing about big dreams – if you don’t break them down and work out how you’re going to get them done, they remain dreams and don’t become a reality.

I’m not telling you to shrink your goal of writing a bestseller; heck no. You have it within you to write a bestseller, and I don’t doubt it for a minute. What I am saying is: to get there, you have to shrink down that goal into sizeable, manageable chunks and fit them into your daily life.

Here’s how:

1: How long is your novel going to be? The below might help, if you’re unsure of the word count you are aiming for.

Epic: 120,000 – 200,000
Thriller: 70,000 – 90,000
Sci-Fi or fantasy: 90,000  – 120,000
Romance  novels: 50,000 – 100,000
Historical fiction: 80,000 – 100,000
Non-fiction: Depends on genre – best to research your specific area.
YA: 40,000 – 80,000
Middle Grade: 20,000 – 50,000
Novella: 20,000 – 50,000
Novelette: 7,500 – 20,000
Short Story – 1,000 – 7,500
Flash Fiction – 1000 words or less
Drabble – Exactly 100 words
Micro Fiction – 300 words or less

2: How long do you have to write your novel?

3: What is your creative data? (Unsure? Check this blog post out to see.)

4: Work backwards. How much do you need to write a day to get your novel written? How many days do you have available for you? When, therefore, will you be finished?

Shrink those goals into sizeable chunks so that you can move forward with the confidence of a definite bestseller!

You’ve got this writer. 

Looking for a similar read? Check these out:

4 Time Blocking Tips for Writers
How to Set Effective Writing Goals
3 Things I Did to Level Up My Writing Game

Categories
Coaching Craft

10 Ways to Grow as a Writer

Are you looking for a way to grow as a writer but struggling to work out how to do it? Don’t worry; I’ve got you. Growing as a writer means expanding your knowledge of the craft, your ability to find the time to write, and your access to writing. It means getting better at what you do – writing stories. So, let’s begin with ten ways to grow as a writer.

1) Expand your vocabulary.

Great idea. But, aside from eating a dictionary, how can you go about this? Here are a few ways. Develop a reading habit. Reading helps you understand so much about writing, and it is such a vital part of being a writer that it should not be discounted. It grows your vocabulary, yes, and it also helps you understand plot, tropes, characterisation…the list is endless. Another great and fun way to expand your vocabulary is to play word games. I’m talking about Wordle, Scrabble, and more. Games are for adults, too!

2) Use writing prompts.

Every other week I share a new writing prompt with my subscribers. Why? Because they are an excellent lesson in writing. They can inspire poetry, short stories, a paragraph that sparks an entire novel you never knew you had in you. Writing with writing prompts is the practice of growing as a writer and making progress in the craft you love.

3) Share your writing.

Yes, I said it. Sharing your writing will help you grow as a writer. For some, the thought of this is scary. I get it; I’ve been there. When I was in the first year of my undergraduate degree in Creative Writing, I used to sit at my table, dreading the moment I would be called on to read my writing to the class. But, here’s the thing…after a while, it didn’t bother me so much. Why? Two reasons. The first is that practising anything makes it much easier. The second is that my peers were trained to give feedback. That second one is vital. If you are nervous about sharing your work, share it with the right person. Share with another writer, a friend you trust, an editor or a writing coach. Practice sharing because peer review is one of the most valuable tools we have at our disposal as writers.

4) Keep a writing journal. 

What’s a writing journal, and why keep one? A writing journal is like your regular journal or diary, only this one focuses on your writing, including anything you want to talk about, how it’s going, what you are struggling with, and what you have written that day. So why would keeping one help you grow as a writer? Because it enables you to explore your process, what is working for you, and what isn’t. This kind of investigation helps you learn exactly who you are as a writer and pinpoint areas of growth.

5) Hire a writing coach or editor. 

As a writing coach and editor, I can tell you that I have watched all of my clients grow through our work together. It is an incredible thing to witness, and I love helping writers discover what works for them, clear the path forward, and ultimately achieve their dreams of writing their novels. I am trained to ask the right questions to help you find a way forward, and growing as a writer is a worthy investment indeed. I hire a coach too, and it’s the best thing I ever decided to do. Here’s a little on my own experience: The Top 5 Things I Learned from Working with a Coach

6) Join a writing group. 

Writing groups are amazing because they provide us with support and craft knowledge and offer us accountability. You can look online or in your local area and see what’s offered.

7) Take part in a writing retreat. 

Writing retreats are incredible. They are spaces for you to create, write, and learn. They are your community, and they leave you feeling rested, inspired, and truly like the writer you are. Looking for a writing retreat to join? Recently I co-ran a writing retreat called The Writing Week Retreat, and it was a runaway success, with writers writing more in one week than usual, and community-led learning. Want to know more and receive updates about the next one? Get in touch here.

8) Write outside your comfort zone. 

When was the last time you pushed yourself outside of your comfort zone when writing? Not sure? Here’s a task to do that right now!

Take the opening paragraph of your novel or latest work. Re-write it, using none of the same words as your original work.

What does this task do? It forces you to think differently, search for new words, and grow as a writer. Give it a go today, and see which piece of writing you prefer.

9) Subscribe to a writing magazine and participate in competitions. 

There are some fantastic writing magazines available, and they are full of competitions and fun things to be a part of. How does this help you grow? Aside from the craft information shared within these magazines, using writing competitions gives you new ideas, new prompts and instils a routine into your writing life.

10) Revise old writing. 

Want to know how much you have grown as a writer? Read and revise your old work. Highlight what you like, and re-write what you don’t. Pay attention to what has changed, how your eye has developed, and be proud of your growth. Need an editor to help? Feel free to get in touch today and book a free 30-minute Discovery Call with me.

Ready to talk about coaching?

As a Certified Professional Coach, trained by an ICF company and with an ILM Level 2, you can trust that my coaching skills are tried and tested. As a writer with a PhD, MA and BA in Creative Writing, and over six years of lecturing in adult education and at universities, I’m a professional writer specialising in helping others find their way forward. 

Any to add? Let me know! Want to read something similar?

Check these out:

3 Things I Did to Level Up My Writing Game
10 Ways to Limit Writing Overwhelm

Categories
Craft

Don’t Know Where to Start Writing? Try The Triptych Method

Sometimes we have a story in our mind, but we don’t know where to begin. It can be hard to figure out what the first step is, which can mean that the story doesn’t progress. So what can we do in this situation?

Well, you’re in the right place if you are ready to try the Triptych method (featured in Writing is My Drink by Theo Pauline Nestor). You may be familiar with the word triptych in the art world, referring to a painting made of three sections. This writing method is so-called because it also uses three parts. So, let’s break it down.

The Triptych Method

Step 1: Think of a theme, concept or idea you want to write about.

Step 2: Think of three examples from your life where you have experienced something related to this, and note them down.

Step 3: Set a timer for 15 minutes.

Step 4: Describe a scene from each example.

Step 5: Re-read your writing. Circle words that jump out of the text. What are the emerging stories or feelings? These are your inspiration to continue.

What does this exercise do for you?

It inspires you to write for fifteen minutes on an idea you previously struggled with, meaning that you can move forward and fuel your desire to tell the story. Have you ever tried this method before?

Want to read something similar? Check these out:

How Understanding Your Creative Data Can Lead to Literary Success
Using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for Character Development 

Categories
Coaching Productivity

Mindfulness Techniques for Writers

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a type of meditation that can be practised at any time. It might be that you have heard people talk about eating ‘mindfully’, meaning that they focus on and are aware of what they are eating during that moment, and in many ways, this is the simplest way of describing it:

‘Mindfulness is being aware of yourself, others and the world around you.’ (Chaskalson, M and McMordie. M. Mindfulness for Coaches. New York, Routledge, 2018.)

You may not know this, but I have studied and practice mindfulness. This helps me every day, and I use it in my writing and coaching practice. Practising mindfulness involves focusing on your breathing, noticing thoughts without entirely giving in to them, and paying attention to the task at hand. Practising mindfulness has been proven to improve the ability to focus, regulate emotion and gain perspective. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

How can it help you write?

Mindfulness is all well and good, but if it weren’t linked in some way to writing, then I wouldn’t be talking about it! So, how can it actually help you write? It’s all linked to the act and process of writing. As we all know, sitting down to write is not always easy, and it can be stressful. Whether you feel pressure because of a deadline, don’t know what you should be focusing on next, or don’t know how you will fit writing into your busy week, practising mindfulness can help.

Why involve it in your Creative Writing practice?

Good question. The answer is because it can help move you forward. It can help with your mindset, allow you to have perspective, and offer you the ability to enjoy writing as a mindful process instead of one that potentially causes feelings of stress, comparison, and overwhelm. Just as a side note, these are totally normal feelings to have around writing. Why? Because it’s not as simple as sitting down and writing a fun story. Sometimes we feel stressed, and other times we can’t help but compare our writing or productivity to the highlight reel that is Instagram.

How to begin involving mindfulness in your process today:

If you are ready to give it a go, let’s start today. After all, if you’re being offered something that could improve your writing life, why not start as soon as possible? Here are some mindfulness techniques for writers:

Technique 1:
An excellent task to begin your mindful writing practice is to write for five minutes about your current surroundings. Five minutes is a short amount of time, so don’t feel that you are wasting time that could be spent on your work in progress – on the contrary, allowing yourself some time and space to warm up, embed yourself in the present, and notice the senses, will result in a happier writing experience. Why? Because you will feel calmer, and your mind will be more focused on the task at hand, having a similar result to task batching.

Technique 2:
Ring a bell. This is one of my favourite tasks because it helps me see when my mind has wandered from writing. Give it a go yourself, and see how it works for you. When writing your work in progress, keep a bell beside you. Every time you find that you have slipped from the narrative of your story and start thinking about something else – perhaps you begin to think about what you will have for dinner – ring the bell. This might sound strange, but what you are doing is practising paying attention to writing. You are being mindful of your practice. Ringing the bell is a physical activity that uses the senses, pulling you back into the present.

Technique 3:
Practice being present with your main character. You could do this in many ways, from writing a letter to them to hot seating them with interview type questions. One of my favourite ways of doing this is through drawing. You should know your character inside out, so spend some time with them. The better you know them, the better you will write them, and the easier it will be to focus purely on the act of telling their story.

Technique 4: 
To get a first draft down on the page, it helps to push revision to one side. Why? Because you cannot edit a blank page. If you are someone who struggles with the idea of this and find yourself re-reading what you have written as you are writing, catch yourself. Take a breath, and think of the next part of your story. If you notice that you are thinking thoughts such as ‘That doesn’t sound good,’ or ‘That word isn’t quite right,’ label it as a thought. Ask yourself if spending your writing time searching for the right word is the best thing you could be doing right now or whether you could spend those ten minutes writing one hundred new words. Taking a deep breath and noticing our thoughts is a big part of getting to the next stage of our writing process – the edit. Revision can be done then, so allow yourself the grace to write now.

There are four ways to practice mindfulness in your writing life today. Give it a go, and see what happens.
If this has brought anything up for you and you want to talk about how you can move forward in your writing life, get in touch. I would love to help you prosper and write a novel you are proud of.

Categories
Coaching Productivity

3 Ways to Turn On Your Creativity Tap

Your creative tap might be rusting out of use, so let’s look at ways to get it turned back on and that innovative water flowing.

Here is one of my favourite writing quotes:

“The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” —Louis L’Amour.

What does this mean exactly? It means that we should not wait around for inspiration to strike if we want to get some writing done. Go after it with your pen poised. Let’s look into three ways to turn on that creativity tap:

1) Workbooks and Classes.

I cannot express to you the amount of joy that I found through Creative Writing classes over the year, both as a teacher and a student. They have helped me hone my skill set, understand what the craft of writing is about, and most importantly of all, have taught me to prioritise my writing life. Workbooks have a similar effect too, and taking that opportunity to write, create, and learn about something you care about, doesn’t just make you a better writer. It makes you a happier one, and it makes you more comfortable with the title of writer. You are a writer, friend, so it’s time to invest in yourself and your art.

I offer options for this – click here to see The Time to Write Workbook.

This has been developed to help you find time in your working week to write. For the price of a cup of coffee, you can invest in yourself.

I also offer the amazing It’s Time to Write Your Novel masterclass. This 40 class programme is designed to take you from procrastination to print – through the stages of writing your novel. The classes are developed to fit into a busy day so that finding time for yourself is not so difficult.

Once you begin to prioritise your writing life through workbooks, classes, and investing in yourself – you will find that the creative faucet is so much easier to turn on. After all, practice makes progress, and by setting this time aside to work on something you care about, you are making progress.

2) Writing exercises.

Writing exercises are the oil for the rusty faucet! I absolutely love them, and they spark exciting ideas. Here are two of my favourites:

Freewriting. Freewriting is precisely as it sounds – it is the act of putting pen to paper and writing a steady stream of consciousness.

Changing the point of view. Writing from another character’s point of view in your story is a fantastic way to get to know it better. Through this exercise, you can learn more about your characters, your world, and your plotline.

3) Investigation into your process. 

If we do not spend some time considering how we write, why we write, and what makes our writing life better, it will never change. If you are not happy with the writing world you have created and find it hard to get inspired; it’s time to investigate your process. This act alone will help you develop a routine and writing process that actually works for you, meaning that when you sit down to write, you are ready to create with passion.

1:1 coaching is ideal for this step, and through working with a writing coach such as myself, you can understand your process and how you can create a novel you are proud of.

Try the above things if you want to turn that creative faucet on, and let me know how you get on! Looking for more productivity hacks? Click here.

Categories
Coaching

The Top 5 Things I Learned from Working with a Coach

Yes, I am a writing coach, so of course, I could tell you what you could gain from working with me…but I’ve already done that! (See the following blog posts – What Is A Writing Coach & Writing Coach vs Editor: What’s the Difference?)

So, today I thought I would tell you what I’ve learned from working with a coach myself.

I’ve repeatedly said that coaches should be coached, and there is a reason for this. To help others, you should be actively helping yourself. This means that you work on your mindset, are consistently learning about your practice, and putting yourself in the shoes of a client.

I am part of a beautiful coaching community for small business owners and have a personal coach. I have also recently hired a coach to help me with marketing specifically. There are so many coaches that specialise in specific niches now, just like my niche of writing, and it is wonderful to be able to work with experts.

So, here’s what I have learned through being coached.

1) Having space held for you can change everything. 

It’s not every day that you can expect someone to give you their full attention, and that’s fair enough. But, when they do, amazing things can happen. Coaching is a wonderful experience, and it’s partly because of this. Having someone hold that space for you, listen to what you are saying without interruption, and ask you the right questions can help you reveal solutions that you didn’t even realise existed. A coach listens to what you are saying without judgement, in a safe space. This alone has helped me become a better, happier, and more fulfilled person.

2) Coaching can build on success, not just solve problems. 

Did you know that coaching isn’t just for specific problems? Nope, coaching is also to build on success. For example, you don’t have to be struggling with a writing routine or draft to hire a writing coach; you can also be having the most prolific writing period of your life and want it to continue. You could be finding yourself motivated every day to create and want to investigate the set of circumstances that led you there so that you can keep being your best self.

Coaching to build on success is a great way to invest in yourself. It’s saying, ‘Hey, things are going great, and long may they continue. In fact, I’ll make sure they do.’

This is the reason I continue to invest in a coaching programme; because I want to continue building on the success that I have found with them.

3) Having someone rooting for you can hold you accountable. 

It’s not the deadlines given by a coach that hold me accountable; it’s the fact that they are rooting for me personally. Coaching is a professional relationship with a difference – you have someone on your team, and they believe in you and your progress. The thought of sharing my achieved tasks with my coach makes me happy because I’m excited to move forward with them in our next session, not because I’m afraid of missing a deadline.

4) Positive change starts with you.

You only have a coach for an hour or so a week or even a month, depending on what you opt for. Outside of this time, it’s down to the client to make what has been discussed work for them. I spend a good few hours a week working on my actions points and planning for my coaching sessions. I like to mix it up, too, like climbing a hill on the treadmill while catching up on a pre-recorded Zoom meeting. Whatever it is, I make sure that I take responsibility for that positive change in my life outside of my coaching sessions.  Coaching gives me the action points to work from, but the action comes from me.

5) Investing in yourself is about much more than money. 

When you give yourself the opportunity of time, education, and accountability, investing in yourself becomes about more than money. It becomes about believing in yourself and setting you up for success. I made a private video at the start of this year, at the suggestion of my coach. It was just me, talking about where I currently was in my business, life, and expectations. Well, the other day, I finally looked back on it ten months later. It was amazing to see the growth of those months. I know that coaching helped me get there, and I am so grateful for that reminder of how far I have come.

So, have you ever been coached, and if so, what did you learn? I would love to know, so share it with me today

Categories
Craft

How to Create Tension in Your Writing

There is nothing better than reading a book that you just can’t put down. The pages are filled with intrigue, tension, and you absolutely have to find out what happens next. Creating tension in your writing is important because you want your reader to be engaged, involved, and excited to keep turning those pages.

So, how can we create tension in writing? Let’s dig in.

Conflict 

This is the act of creating a problem for your characters. It can be broken down into two categories:

Internal conflict

Your character shouldn’t be given what they want just because they demand it. Internal conflict looks like a character battling with their thought process, desires, or a fundamental part of who they are. It might be that they are haunted by a memory and cannot move past it. The internal conflict might drive your character forward on their journey or try and hinder their progress. However it is formed, internal conflict can change our actions, the way we look at a situation, and can create a tension that leaps from the page.

External conflict 

Your poor character, not only do they have all these internal battles, but now they have an external one too! External conflict is exactly that, something that the character needs to overcome in the real world. Perhaps they are being hunted down by the local werewolf, for example, and every day it gets a bit closer…

Cliffhangers

Often offered at the end of a chapter, cliffhangers are a great way to build tension on the page. It could be that you surprise the reader with a piece of information they didn’t know, reveal something shocking, or even stop the action halfway through so that the reader has to read on to get the goods!

Turn the tension dial up and down

If your novel is pure tension through and through, it can be a stressful read, and not in a good way. In some cases, it can desensitise your reader to the tension, meaning they are no longer on the edge of their seats. Instead, turn it up and down as though on a dial. The calmer moments will provide a type of respite for your reader and give those times of tension a bit of extra pizzaz!

Time

A time limit is an extremely useful tool as a writer. It doesn’t have to be a literal clock ticking either, but a deadline on the horizon can really give your reader a taste of that tension your characters are experiencing.

What are your tips for creating tension in your writing? Please share them with me today! 

Want a hand with building tension? Get in touch. 

If you found this useful and want to read something similar, check out the following craft blog posts:

5 Things to Avoid When Writing Dialogue 
Which Story Outline Method is Best For You?
5 Books on Writing That Will Improve Your Craft