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Hooked-up In Your Writing

March 23rd, 2018

First, thanks to Sherry for last month’s blog. The thing that I found most interesting was her suggestion of experimenting with different word-lengths to find what suits your idea best. Many people sit down and if they’ve decided to write a 2000-word short story, that’s what they go for. If they’ve decided to write 500 words, that’s what they write. But there can be so much to gain from a little experimentation – making sure that your story is written in the right number of words to do it justice. There’s no point dragging out a pithy, epigrammatic idea to thousands of words or condensing a character-reliant, romance down to a summary. I get so frustrated when I start watching a series on TV, think the set-up is good and then gradually realise that what’s being told in six episodes would have been better kept to four. I don’t want to waste two hours of my life on padding!

And while I’m having a bit of a grumble…  I recently saw a link to Books for ‘Older’ Readers. In theory it sounds great and they do put a disclaimer on the site saying that they are not being agist or trying to put reading tastes into set compartments. But, I think one of the joys of reading is to discover new voices and how writing styles and tastes are changing. I know there are times when all I want is familiarity – the kind of book I KNOW I’ll enjoy. But I don’t really think that has anything to do with age. Well into her eighties my mother’s adventurous taste in literature would have put many millennials to shame.

And talking of millennials and their reading habits, have you seen the HOOKED app. It lets you read chat stories on your phone. They say: “These are gripping, edge-of-your-seat thrillers that will keep you reading for hours. Or, write your own story and get lots of fans! Every HOOKED story is told as a bite-sized text message conversation, as if you were reading someone else’s chat history. We love reading, just like you, but we know it can get BORING when stories are too long. So we created this app to make reading snappy, spooky and fun.”

They go on to say: “If you can’t get enough of books like Hunger Games, Divergent, The Fault In Our Stars and Harry Potter. Or if you’re a fan of fanfic, like stories about One Direction. Or if you just can’t put your Kindle down at night. You will love HOOKED….”

I don’t usually have a problem with books going on too long – I like books that I can get lost in. But it might be a new writing opportunity if you feel you can work within the format. After all, the app has now topped the chart in 25 countries; there have been 40 million downloads worldwide over the past three years with 3 million of these in the UK. Definitely worth a look.

Finally, the closing date for our Short Story Competition is 31st March, so you don’t have much time left. We won’t be extending the deadline, so get your entry in as soon as possible if you want to have a chance of winning one of the cash prizes and a Writers Bureau course of your choice.

My guest next week is Writers Bureau Tutor, Colin Bulman, who’ll be looking at the ‘inciting incident’ – the thing that gets your story going and hooks your reader in.

Author: Diana Nadin


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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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