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Writing Factories!

April 30th, 2021

First, thanks to Julia Lavrinovich from The Novel Factory for getting in touch and sending me a link to a blog post on their site: How to Write A Main Character Your Readers Will Love. I think you’ll find what it has to say both interesting and useful. It looks at the four basic types of main character, explores a technique for building a complex main character from inside out and finally examines four ways to ensure readers love your main character. Definitely worth a look!

And now for a different writing factory – The Fiction Factory. Their First Chapter Competition is open for entries.  They say “Have you completed the first draft of your novel? Are you ready to pass it on to a fresh pair of eyes, to see if you are on the right track? Is your all-important first chapter ready for submission to an agent? Whatever your plans, your first chapter must shine – it must grab your readers or quickly lose their interest.

“The winning entry will be read by literary agent Joanna Swainson of the Hardman & Swainson Agency. Joanna is looking for originality and distinctive voices. For complex, larger-than-life characters and stories that will stay with the reader forever. Stories that surprise, and keep on surprising. As Joanna says, she will know what she’s looking for when she sees it!”

The first prize is £500 plus an appraisal (all short-listed entrants will receive a free appraisal). The entry fee is £18 (£15 Early Bird Special for entries received before May 15th, 2021). The closing date is 31st July and there is a 5000-word limit. For an extra fee, you can have a comprehensive appraisal of your chapter.

Winning entries will be published on their website, subject to the author’s permission.

One of the courses we offer is The Art of Writing Poetry – and I just want to let you know that it has recently been completely revised and updated. It’s a great course which looks at how to get ideas for poems, how to develop those ideas and then helps you decide whether you’re going to use free verse or choose one of the many interesting rhyming forms available. There are exercises throughout to stretch your poetry-writing muscles but (to my mind) one of the best things about it is the fact that the 12 assignments are ‘open’. This means that you can write poems on any subject that inspires you, in any style, and then get personal feedback from an experienced poet. There’s nothing quite like a one-to-one relationship of this kind – you certainly won’t get it in a zoom meeting or writing class where you are competing with others for the tutor’s attention.

Finally, if you want a book that will, in turn, make you feel depressed yet elated by how wonderful the writing is, then read Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart. Not for the prudish, it won the 2020 Booker Prize, and it’s a master class in characterisation and how to write dialogue.


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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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