I’d Rather Not Be Talking to You but I’m Writing This Book: How a Shy Writer Tackles Research

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By Shayna Krishnasamy When I first started writing in high school I would often find myself restricting my stories to the only subjects I understood: family life, adolescent girl cliques, suburbia. I did this because the idea of pretending knowledge of a subject I didn’t understand inside and out—like, say, the police force, or scuba diving, or ballet school—made me terribly nervous, and the things I would have to do to research such topics seemed impossible. I was the girl who would … [Read more...]

Fright for your Write: Part 3 (Plot)

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By Craig Dilouie Now we're ready to get past the idea and into nuts and bolts. Which means plot and characters. Let's start with plot. Plot begins with the basic three-act structure. We have the normal, the horror element changes everything, and then we have the new normal. Setup, confrontation and resolution. A family moves into a new house to make a fresh start. The town is terrorized by a werewolf, which the family must fight to survive. The family defeats the werewolf, and the … [Read more...]

The Open Day Writing Competition – Panel of Judges

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The Open Day Competition is looking for good writing, and an exciting voice…a born storyteller who can engage the reader from page one and build on that in the pages that follow. The 'hook' of the opening chapter is vital in today's competitive market, especially if a writer is focusing on digital publishing. An appealing synopsis is also more important than ever, especially when browsing on the Internet. Besides being the official presentation of your book, it is one of the most valuable … [Read more...]

Fright for your Write: Part 2 (The Horror Element)

By Craig Dilouie We're starting with the fun stuff: the horror element. Make people face the fantastic with high stakes, and you've got the setup for a thriller. Make the fantastic horrifying, and you've got horror. Make the horror impose a constant threat of death, and you've got survival horror. Make the element a ghost, demon, etc., and you've got supernatural horror. Make the horrifying element a global threat, and you've got apocalyptic horror. Make the horror something that's largely … [Read more...]

Fright for your Write: Part 1 (Why Do We Read/Write Horror?)

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By Craig Dilouie I recently had the opportunity to give a presentation at the When Words Collide writers' conference in Calgary, Alberta. The topic? How to scare people with words. Specifically, how to write a horror novel. When I tell people I write horror, I sometimes get a funny look. See, horror writers are the serial killers of the fiction world. People say, "He's such a nice, mild-mannered guy. I lived next to him for years. I never suspected he wrote horror." Why do I write … [Read more...]

Louise Penny on Silencing the Writer’s Inner Critic

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By Jennifer Shenouda For some, what begins as a case of writer’s block can quickly evolve into full-on writer’s paralysis, the inability to move forward with a project due to an author’s crippling self-doubt. Perhaps it’s a misguided form of self-protection to imagine the worst possible reaction to one’s work before it happens—if only to lessen the blow of not getting it right the first time (or second, or third, or fourth). Nevertheless, it is a feeling all too common for authors; an … [Read more...]

Every Word I Write Is Genius and Other Things I Was Wrong About

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By Shayna Krishnasamy I write long. It’s what I do. My sentences aren’t tight. The meander and go off topic and then veer back. I can make a sentence go on for a whole page. I overuse commas. I love asides and parentheses and em dashes. When I’m writing a first draft, or even a second, I can get a little out of control. And then I have to take out the red pen. That’s when the agony begins. A big part of being a writer has nothing to do with writing. No, I’m not talking about marketing … [Read more...]

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