Forum Posts

IndieNovella
Jan 22, 2022
In Week 9 - Next Steps
For the Final Week please feel free to engage each other on next steps and how to approach the final writing exercise.
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IndieNovella
Jan 22, 2022
In Week 8 - Pacing
Here's your chance to chat on all things writing.
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IndieNovella
Jan 22, 2022
In Week 8 - Pacing
As this is our final weekly writing exercise we won't ask you to go through your novel and look at the highs and lows of your pacing. Instead, let's have one last bit of fun and write a short scene that builds tension. Remember, the aim is to build suspense, not describe an action scene. Here are a few ideas to get you started, but feel free to come up with your own: ​ You walk into a room and everyone stops talking. You’re in a cellar when the light goes out. You are alone in the house and hear a noise. A character is waiting for some important news. A couple are late for an urgent appointment. When you’ve decided on the scenario, take a moment to decide what’s going to happen. You don’t need to map out a story or even decide what the cause of the tension is if you don’t want to. Just have a go at writing and consider how you will build the tension. Stop the scene wherever you want.
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IndieNovella
Jan 22, 2022
In Week 7 - Show vs Tell
This week we’re keeping it simple and asking you to get creative. We’re going to TELL you a story and, in return, we ask that you SHOW us the story back. All should become clear in the example below. When Rabih meets his client, an unflappable Scottish woman named Kirsten, he quickly falls deeply in love. Soon they are dating, and after a year the couple will marry and encounter major challenges along with the banality of domestic life. Over the course of 13 years, they will have a daughter followed by a son, and one will have an affair. The dynamics of Rabih and Kirsten are those of a typical couple: in addition to everyday disputes and flashes of romance, traumas of the past resurface in unexpected ways. Both individuals have experienced nearly symmetrical losses in their childhood: Rabih lost his mother to cancer at age 12, and Kirsten was abandoned by her father as a young girl. As a result, even Rabih’s overnight business trip can cause Kirsten disproportionate distress, and a large pile of dirty laundry triggers in Rabih traumatic memories of war-torn Beirut. We’ve TOLD you a lot about Rabih and Kirsten’s relationship. Now SHOW us as much as you can about their relationship in just one scene.
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IndieNovella
Jan 22, 2022
In Week 7 - Show vs Tell
Please feel free to discuss anything on this week's lesson (or on writing in general) you would like.
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IndieNovella
Jan 22, 2022
In Week 6 - Dialogue
Please do use this forum for general discussion this week. Perhaps, how your own novel is going and if you have found any particular lessons useful in the writing process.
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IndieNovella
Jan 22, 2022
In Week 6 - Dialogue
Weekly Writing Exercise For this week’s writing exercise, write a scene that focuses on a tense conversation between two or more people. You can choose a scene from your novel, a new short story or perhaps one of these prompts: ‘You’re home early.’ ‘I’m just saying. That’s all.’ ‘Have you seen Ollie? He’s escaped again.’ ‘You should tell her. Do the right thing.’ ‘Don’t just stand there.’ ‘Kiss me,’ she said, crying. ‘I just need a moment. Tell them I’m fine’ Just to clarify, while your scene needs to feature dialogue, we’re not asking you to write ONLY dialogue (in the manner of a script or screenplay). The dialogue should be nested into your scene, the way you’d see it if you were reading a book. Try to write the dialogue quickly – you could set an alarm for twenty minutes and just go for it. Let yourself be as verbose and explanatory as you like. Just get words down on the page. Then go back over the scene, read it aloud to yourself and edit it ruthlessly, thinking about what needs to be said, what can be left unsaid, and how you can reveal what a character really thinks through action and by giving us glimpses into what they are thinking.
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IndieNovella
Jan 22, 2022
In Week 5 - Style
General Discussion for Week 5
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IndieNovella
Jan 22, 2022
In Week 5 - Style
Weekly Writing Exercise As we have already said, Style is difficult to discuss in the abstract. Therefore this week's writing exercise follows a different format. Use the forum to consider the following questions: Can you identify any of these or other 'styles' in relation to any specific authors? Could you think about the prevailing style or styles of your novel; and bring a small passage to the forum that best demonstrates it/them? Then, take the above style most juxtaposed to your own writing style and rewrite the small passage of your novel in this style. Describe how you found the experience and what you learned.
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IndieNovella
Jan 22, 2022
In Week 4 - Character
This week we're talking about how to make your characters stand out. How did you fair with the Fact File? Do you have any insights you wish to share?
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IndieNovella
Jan 22, 2022
In Week 4 - Character
Weekly Writing Exercise ​ Last week we asked you to experiment with different Narratives and Point of Views. This week, we're giving you some ideas for scenes, and would like you to pick one of them from the list below and write what happens twice, each time from the viewpoint of a different character. As an example, let’s imagine a scene in which a child demands an ice cream from their parent. Whichever point-of-view character you pick – that’s your PROTAGONIST. Say you pick the child; well, poor kid! It’s a hot day and his dad (the ANTAGONIST) is thwarting his desire for an ice-cream. Most unfair. Every other kid has one… Now write your scene again, only this time, make the parent your viewpoint character. (She’s tired, it’s been a long day at the beach and she has to get the boy back to his father in time for dinner – and he will not be pleased if the child doesn’t have an appetite . . .) The trick will be to make both accounts as convincing, engaging and reasonable as possible. ​ Here are some more ideas for you to choose from: One person asking another out on a date Two people in a minor road accident swapping insurance details A boss sacking a worker A boss hiring a worker A fraudster offering their mark a million-pound prize A student begging a favour from their tutor A couple calling time on their relationship A soldier confronting an alien invader Aim for short scenes, about 300–400 words each (600–800 words in total for both). If you feel particularly clever take an existing character from either your novel or your writing earlier in the course and get them to act.
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IndieNovella
Jan 22, 2022
In Week 3 - Narrative
Please feel free to ask any questions of us or your colleagues, and discuss what you may have learned in this week's lesson.
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IndieNovella
Jan 22, 2022
In Week 3 - Narrative
Weekly Writing Exercise ​ This week's writing exercise is a personal favourite. It allows you to experiment with your writing, trying something new in the context of something familiar. Copy and paste a passage from your current novel/writing into the forum. You can use your opening again, if you want. Then, rewrite this passage but changing the point of view. For example, if your novel was written in the first person try the third person limited multiple person (note, you may need to choose just one person for this short exercise). Or if you used the past tense, try the present tense. See what happens.
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IndieNovella
Jan 22, 2022
In Week 2 - Plot and Structure
This is a chance for you to get to know your fellow writers and tell each other a bit more about the story behind your book. Let each other know, as simply as you can, what was it that had you putting pen to paper on this particular story. It could be the culmination of a lot of different things, but if there was that one moment when you realised who your main character or villain was, or when you thought, 'hmmm, I'd like to write a novel about that...' please do share! We'd love to hear it.
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IndieNovella
Jan 22, 2022
In Week 2 - Plot and Structure
This week's writing exercise is slightly more technical in nature, but it also allows you interact with your fellow participants. Remember, without a story there is no plot - it is just a bunch of stuff happening. Therefore 1) use the simple Three Act Structure outlined in the lesson's Robin Hood example to answer that all important and infuriating question, what is your story/novel about? Lay out your story in just three sentences. If you haven't quite decided yet, don't worry, use this as a space to elaborate on whatever is already in your head. ​ Then, 2) use Jacob Ross's example of the Three Act Structure to outline your plot. In Act 1, The Setup, state what characters you will be introducing, say when and where they are, lightly describe the key interrelationships. State the inciting incident, and then define what your first plot point will be. Do this for Acts 2 and 3 too and see where you end up. Some of you could well argue that your novel does not follow such a rudimentary composition, but give it a go. The most important thing is pin pointing your plot points and observing how your story and your plot happily coexist.
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IndieNovella
Jan 22, 2022
In Week 1 - Openings
Please feel free to ask any questions of us or your colleagues, and discuss what you may have learned in this week's lesson.
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IndieNovella
Jan 22, 2022
In Week 1 - Openings
Indie Novella Writing Course - Lesson 1 https://www.indienovella.co.uk/writing-course-lesson-1 This week we looked at novel openings and the importance of those first few pages. We also examined examples from four contemporary authors. Week 1’s inaugural writing exercise comes from Damien’s experience of writing the opening to Joined Up. We’re going to give you a list of prompts to get your story going. Feel free to use characters and settings from our existing novel or create something completely new – choose one you feels right for you. · Your protagonist gets stood up (example: Joined Up) · Your protagonist receives a piece of bad news (example: Us) · Your character is in the midst of a unique action – scaling a tall building, eating cherries with custard – create a strong visual image develop this image into a scene, bringing in action and dialogue and/or interior monologue (example: Swimming Home) · Describe the day everything changes for your protagonist. · Describe who your character is and what internal conflict is driving them (example: Eleanor Oliphant / A Sense of An Ending) The key to this exercise is NOT writing a lot. You have 500-700 words to get into the story. Through the course you can either build on this or just use it as a one off.
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IndieNovella
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