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Author: JJBarnes

I'm author, writer, screenwriter and filmmaker. I've always been passionate about stories, both on the page and on the screen, and now I'm lucky enough that I've been able to turn that passion into a career. Myfirst novel, Lilly Prospero And The Magic Rabbit was the first release from Siren stories and launched the Siren Stories Universe (the SSU). Now there are multiple stories, on page and screen, all connected and exploring the world I first began to develop all those years ago. Find all my books here. Hollowhood, the first independent film from myself and my writing partner, Jonathan McKinney, is currently in post-production. Making my own film has been an incredible experience and only affirmed my love of all things to do with film. From the camera to the costumes, I will always love everything about being on set. As well as releasing my own stories, I'm hoping to spread love and passion for the art of story telling to others, by guiding you through different aspect of writing. I do a series of Writing Advice videos for adults, and a Creative Writing For Kids series, both on YouTube. I'm also releasing regular Writing Advice blog posts explaining different writing techniques and advice for how to get the most out of your writing experience. Other than writing, my life is mostly spent with my partner, Jonathan McKinney, our three children, Rose, Ezekiel and Buffy, and our extremely foolish Springer Spaniel, Molly. I love reading books, watching TV, and falling asleep during movies. When Jon comes to bed he usually finds me face down with my face on a book, or hiding under the duvet waiting for him to protect me because I've got myself in a dither reading a ghost story.

How To Write Chapter One

I’ll be talking through things you need to include to write Chapter One of your book, and hopefully leaving you feeling empowered to make that step. The world needs more stories, let’s make yours one of them.

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The Balance Between Protagonist And Antagonist

When you’re planning your story, one of the first jobs is to establish who your Protagonist and Antagonist are. Your Protagonist is your main character, the person who you are travelling with. They want something and are motivated to get it. Your Antagonist is the person who wants the opposite, and is motivated to stop them. I’ll be writing about the balance between them in strength, ability, and determination.

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Giving Your Characters Passions And Hobbies

In reality, your characters exist solely to serve your story. They were born the moment they first appeared on the page, and they will die at The End. That is their entire world. However, your characters need to feel to your audience like they live and breathe in a world far beyond your pages. They need to be complete people, people who your audience can believe in. If your audience doesn’t believe in your characters, they won’t believe in your story.

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What Must Your Character Sacrifice?

Your story, be it fantasy, action, or romantic comedy, is about a character going in pursuit of what they want. They want something, they go out to get it, and things get in their way. The story resolves when they either have it, or have accept they won’t get to. But to make your story really powerful, you need to think about what they have to give up during that journey.

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World Building

World Building is the technique of telling your readers what world your story is set in, whether the laws of nature match ours, whether there is magical lore they need to understand, and how the society functions. World Building is essential for most stories, other wise your readers won’t understand how your characters function throughout the story, but it can be done badly. I’ll write about how to World Build effectively, and mistakes to avoid.

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How To Keep Your Story Moving Forwards

The rate at which your plot moves forwards is referred to as the “pace” of your story. If your story has too slow a pace, it can be boring, whereas if the pace is too fast then it’s unclear what’s happening and why. You need to find a balance between moving forwards at the right pace, whilst still taking time to explain what is happening and why.

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