E.A. Deverell's Blog

February 11, 2019

Mystery Writing Prompts

A mystery is an easy way to add interest to an otherwise simple story. These mystery writing prompts will make you curious to know more. And your readers too!

What Creates Mystery?

A few elements are vital to keeping a mystery story moving forward:

Questions – A single question can be enough to sow doubt in a reader’s mind, and create a mystery where previously there was none. Answers – The dance between questions and answers is what keeps readers engaged in a mystery. Every answer creates...
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Published on February 11, 2019 14:19

January 31, 2019

A character arc is a simple way to visualise your character’s progress through the story, whether it’s a binary comparison of their beginning and end states, or a point-by-point graph of their emotional ups and downs…

Character Arc Development & Kurt Vonnegut's Story Shapes

Last week we studied how characters change, and this week’s worksheet offers a simple method for visualising that change.

Character Arc Development & Kurt Vonnegut's Story Shapes

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THIS WORKSHEET (PDF)

What is a Character Arc?

A “character arc”, sometimes also called a “character development arc” or “emotional a...

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Published on January 31, 2019 11:45

January 24, 2019

How Characters Change - Writing Worksheet

At school you probably learned the distinction between “static” and “dynamic” characters. Static characters are usually defined as those who don’t change, or those who resist change. Dynamic characters, in contrast, are transformed by the story.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THIS WORKSHEET (PDF)

The change that a character undergoes from the beginning through to the end of the story is also called the “character arc”, or “character development arc”. Often, a strong development arc is considered to...

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Published on January 24, 2019 12:43

January 21, 2019

The Magician - Rider Waite Tarot

It’s been a long time since I’ve listened to any podcasts, but when I received an email announcing that my favourite quarterly had started up the Slightly Foxed Podcast, I decided it was time for old habits and new reads.

If you’re unfamiliar with Slightly Foxed, it’s a very down-to-earth publication that is all about the delight of reading, and of discovering new (often “unpopular” or obscure) books.

“We’re not snobbish about this. We believe that reading is a pleasurable activity and there...

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Published on January 21, 2019 14:04 • 1 view

January 7, 2019

Writing the Underworld

The underworld is perhaps the most important motif in mythology and literature – tied up with ideas about life, the afterlife, belief, culture, storytelling, and the psyche, it’s the setting of humanity’s reckoning with the ephemeral nature of mortality.

As writers, we can use the motif of the underworld in two aspects:

The underworld as world of adventure The underworld as world of the dead Why write the underworld? Create an internal or external site for the change your character underg...
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Published on January 07, 2019 15:47

December 30, 2018

READ MY STORY

Today’s challenge is to start and finish the first draft of a story in 1 hour (or about 50 minutes).

This is a special, cosy winter write-along, so in addition to pen and paper, I recommend equipping yourself with a hot drink, and some thick socks. When you’re ready, hit PLAY.

Don’t worry if you find yourself changing direction or contradicting yourself as you write. Just enjoy the feeling of the story unfolding, and know that you can expand it, tidy it up, and polish it later...

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Published on December 30, 2018 10:01 • 1 view

December 28, 2018

Writing Challenge Index

A writing challenge is perhaps the fastest and most enjoyable way to grow as a writer, and to finish an interminable writing project. Pick and choose your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals and piece together a year you can’t wait to write about!

Engage in a Year-Long Writing Challenge

A year-long challenge takes a lot of focus and stamina, and it’s easy to get bored and fall off. However, a big challenge can also be very rewarding, both in terms of the end result, and the habits that y...

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Published on December 28, 2018 14:01

December 27, 2018

How to Write a Celebration, Party or Feast

Think back to your favourite novel, and you’ll probably discover a celebration of some kind, whether it’s a cocktail party, an eleventy-first birthday bash, a school feast, a funeral wake, a royal baptism, or a harvest festival.

It’s important to celebrate in life, and even more so in fictional life where gatherings can serve many purposes that further the plot, develop characters, and build up the story world. And unlike real life celebrations that we’ve planned, we’re happy when things go...

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Published on December 27, 2018 08:18 • 1 view

December 23, 2018

What to Write Today - Writing Ideas & Writing Inspiration

Write about what you love about your life right now. Write a list of words for each of your senses. Write about a lifestyle you can barely imagine. Write about spending a day in the house of your dreams. Write a world with no characters. Write an ode to the floor. Write about a profession you know nothing about. Write an edict to your story world and nail it to a (fictional) tree. Write about something magical in the real world. Write a time system you would prefer to the current one. Write...
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Published on December 23, 2018 02:19

November 28, 2018

Writing a Pep Talk - NaNoWriMo Worksheet

If you’ve fallen behind on your NaNoWriMo novel, you might be in need of a pep talk right about now! Your characters may need one too, whether in a private conversation with a mentor, or on a crowded sports pitch, or on a field before battle. Or perhaps it’s your readers who await encouragement, motivation, incentive, impetus, ignition…

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THIS WORKSHEET (PDF)

Writing a Pep Talk

Here are a few quick tips for writing a pep talk, from my favourite film, Gladiator. General M...

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Published on November 28, 2018 13:12 • 1 view