What ‘Write What You Know’ Really Means

If you haven’t already checked out my new writing advice website, where I post weekly articles, please do! Here’s an article from it to wet your appetite.

Jed Herne: Writer

Like ‘Show, don’t tell’ (a hypocritically telling phrase in itself), the ‘Write What You Know’ mantra is often thrown around with no explanation.

So what does it mean? Does it mean you can only write about your own experiences? Does it mean your story should be an autobiography? Does it mean you can’t have a female narrator if you’re a male writer?

Nope. ‘Write What You Know’ isn’t about limitations. It’s not there to stop you writing cool stuff. It’s there to make your writing more realistic. Because ‘Write What You Know’ really means: ‘Write What You’ve Felt.’

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New Writing Advice Blog

Hey there!

I’ve created a new writing advice blog.  On it, I’ll post concise-ish and often snarky writing advice every week or every 7 days (whichever comes first). Your literary enjoyment may vary!

I’ve thought about doing this for quite some time. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll have seen me dabbling in writing advice articles from time to time, and now I’ve decided that I’d like to make a habit of it. I’ll most likely be migrating the chapters of my novel to this new website.

Check it out here and be sure to follow the new blog for weekly posts!

jedhernewriter.wordpress.com 

Choice: its Importance in Writing

Choice.

I’ve begun to realise how important choice is in writing. Choices let characters showcase their personalities and effect the plot. The effect of a character’s choices reveals the true importance of that character.

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Free Writing App

I was lucky enough to recently stumble across Hemingway Editor, a free online writing app:

http://www.hemingwayapp.com/

The program highlights adverbs, instances of passive voice and long-winded, hard-to-read sentences. I’ve always tried to keep my writing as clear and concise as possible – and I’m no fan of adverbs either – so I’ll be using this as I edit the third draft of my novel. Let me know if you’ve used it before in the comments below !

Third Draft – Finished!

After a whole lot of effort, I’ve finally finished the 3rd Draft of The Aeon Academy! Unlike the second draft, where I essentially re-wrote the entire novel, I was able to retain a lot of scenes in this draft that I’d written back in the previous copy. I think that’s a good sign moving forward.

I also feel like there’s significantly more cohesion with this draft as a whole. The plot is developed, foreshadowed early and engaging (I hope!). I also think there’s better links between each scene.

I’m going to let the manuscript sit for a week (or two), then re-read it several times before going back to edit it. Hopefully the fourth draft will be just focused on tightening up sentences and editing on a less severe level than my previous drafts. I’m aiming to have this one done by the end of November.

Thanks for all your support!

The Half-Blood Prince Guide to Question Arcs

Yesterday I announced one of my writing articles would soon be appearing on the Better Novel Project. Today, it’s been published on the site! Check it out here. Here’s a short excerpt:


 

A question arc in your novel can help build suspense:

Suspense: a state or condition of mental uncertainty or excitement, as in awaiting a decision or outcome, accompanied by apprehension or anxiety.

The desire to know the answers to riddles or mysteries will keep many readers hooked.  Let’s look at how a question arc captivates readers in Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince. 

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The Half-Blood Prince Guide to Question Arcs – Soon to be Published Article!

Hey all! Just a quick note to say that an article, written by me, will appear on the Better Novel Project tomorrow. BNP is a a website that deconstructs popular novels like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games to discover common elements. It then explains how to use those elements to create a great story structure. If you’re interested in what makes a best-seller tick, go check it out!

In the article, I’ll be looking at how you can use a Question Arc to create suspense and captivate readers, looking at Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to see how Question Arcs can be done well. Will link to the article as soon as it’s published!

Second Draft … Complete! (Hooray!)

After much toil (work started somewhere around October last year, interrupted for months at a time by school) and a half-finished edit (I edited most of my novel, completely changed the story and began a drastic rewrite – I called this my 1.5th draft) I’m proud to announce the second (or technically third) draft of The Aeon Academy is complete! Whew!

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New Theme & Layout

I’ve used the same theme for this blog ever since I first started it – the default (albeit slightly customised) TwentyFourteen. So, today I’ve changed the theme and added a few new touches. I feel that the larger font makes reading easier, and that the new header image has a more professional, mysterious and interesting appearance than before. But that’s enough from me – I’m not the only one who reads this thing! I hope …

What are your thoughts on the new theme? Does it make it easier to read the sample chapters? Do you prefer the new header images? How about the readability of the font? I’d love to know your thoughts.

Concept Images – Part 2

Concept images of Belpo (the main city of The Aeon Academy) and its surrounds, part two:

Belpo City

The view from a busy road during night-time in Belpo.

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