Posts Tagged Della Galton

Moving On From Short Story to Novel

I’ve been reading Della Galton‘s new book – Moving On from Short Story to Novel. Moving On From Short Story To Novel by Della Galton

It’s written in an easy to read friendly tone and does what it says on the tin – it explains the different techniques required for writing full length fiction compared to short stories.

When I attempted NaNoWriMo a couple of years ago I fell into the trap of thinking that to fill the pages of a novel it was necessary to pack it with action. I had something new happening all the time. Della explains that this is not the case, what is needed is more depth – i.e. more characterisation, detail of setting etc. She uses examples from her own novels and stories, including a synopsis (great to see a successful synopsis ‘in the flesh’!) and a chart showing how to keep track of what’s happening in each chapter (one of those things that you see and then say – that’s obvious so why didn’t I think of it? Sometimes we just need these things pointing out). 

Della also explains the concept of a theme within a novel. Something that I’ve always thought sounds very literary and highbrow but in fact it’s something that many writers do unconsciously. Theme boils down to the focus of your novel and, according to Della, if you can identify that theme then both plotting and editing become easier.

The only downside to this book is that it’s not available on Kindle and incidentally, it’s written in such a way that a novelist could use it as an aid to moving to shorter fiction.

Now all I have to do is put all this brilliant advice into practice…

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New Year’s Resolutions…or maybe not

I don’t like New Year’s resolutions for two reasons – both related to the fact that they have to be made public. Firstly, when you say aloud something that you really want to do, it can sound impossible to achieve or just stupid – and that is a bad way to start. Secondly, once everyone knows that you’re training for a marathon or writing a novel, they will keep asking how you are doing. This is fine when things are going well but it’s awful to have to own up if you’re struggling. So I am going to keep my own aspirations to myself this year and instead I’ll just share a few mini-goals that I’ve put on my ‘Writing To Do List’ fot the first part of 2012:

  • Enter all 4 of Eddie Walsh’s Emerald Writing Workshops 500 word story competitions plus the 4 sentence story. I intend to send them all together in one envelope (saving money on stamps!) before the first closing date of 28th February 2012. I’ve already drafted most of them – I just need an idea for the story set on a train…
  • Enter Della Galton’s competition for a 250 word story about a New Year’s resolution that went wrong. The prize is a copy of her new book ‘Moving On’. Closes 10am Jan 4th.
  • Enter The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2012 competition. Stories on the theme of ‘Identity’ of up to 2,000 words. Closes 14th February 2012. I really fancy the prize – £500 plus an Arvon course.
  • Enter the Swanwick 2012 competition for a story or article on the theme ‘A Sense of Duty’. First prize is a week at the Swanwick summer school. Closes 30th April 2012. I fancy there will be fewer entrants in the article section but at the moment I’m struggling to come up with an idea.

Finally, (following yet another rejection from Take a Break’s Fiction Feast) I am going to stop banging my head against a brick wall on markets that my writing is obviously not suited for.

Happy New Year to you all – and thanks for sticking with me through 2011!

 

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