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JJ Barnes

JJ Barnes writes about parenting, feminism, current affairs and writing

By - JJBarnes

Writing Set Up and Pay Off – DIE HARD edition

The inclusion of satisfying set up and pay off in your story means your audience will find it so much more entertaining. The set up is early story beats that are part of the story in general, but then are pulled upon to be relevant to the climax of your story later. It means your audience feels rewarded for paying attention, and included in the story process because those early set up notes are put in just for their enjoyment.

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By - JJBarnes

How To Write Flashbacks

Using flashbacks is when you have two time lines, your main story line, and then a back story line in the past.

By - JJBarnes

Pantsing Vs Plotting – A Guide to The Writing Techniques

“Pantsing” comes from the expression “fly by the seat of your pants.” If means to be making your story up as you go, and finding out what’s going to happen along the way. “Plotting” is where before you start writing, you work out who you characters are, key events in the story, what page count you’re aiming for etc in advance, and then you follow that plan as you work.

By - JJBarnes

Writing Your Midpoint – Story Structure Advice

Your first act is setting up what they want, the second act is where they start to pursue it, and the third act is where they’ve learned what they need to learn to go about getting it. Your midpoint comes at a point where your story pivots into a new setting or a new scenario.

By - JJBarnes

How to write in a three act structure – SPOILERS – Die Hard

A three act structure is like a framework for your story, and is how you move your plot along in a controlled way that keeps your story organised and making sense. However, as with most things there is fluidity to it and if a three act structure doesn’t work for your story that’s okay, but if it does work, and it does help you, then this is a good guide on how to implement it and why you might want to.

By - JJBarnes

How to write Narrative Triplets – referencing Spider-Man Into The Spiderverse

To explain how and why you use Narrative Triplets in your writing, I am referencing the film Spider-Man Into The Spiderverse, so this post does contain SPOILERS if you’ve not seen that film. I’ll cover key moments in the film and how these Narrative Triplets make the entire plot stronger.

By - JJBarnes

How to use an “Unreliable Narrator” – writing advice featuring The Girl On The Train

Most of the time when you go into reading a book or watching a film, there will be a person who’s telling you the story, it might be the lead character who’s POV you’re in, or an actual narrator. That’s usually a person who you trust is giving you an accurate account of the events occurring in your story. However, there is such a thing as an “unreliable narrator,” and I’ll be explaining how and why you might use an “unreliable narrator” by referencing the book The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins.

By - JJBarnes

Getting over my performance anxiety… sort of.

I don’t like to use terms related to mental health issues lightly. I don’t think liking things clean should be called OCD, I don’t think being a bit glum is Depression. With this in mind, I won’t say I have a definite PHOBIA of acting, but I will say that when I was an extra in the background of one

By - JJBarnes

I can only be the kind of mother I am… and sometimes it’s not who they want me to be.

I have a six year old daughter, a three year old daughter, and a six year old step son. I love them all fiercely, I would kill and die for these children, and I try to be the best mother I can be to them. But the big two are old enough to compare me to other mothers. And I

By - JJBarnes

My daughter, the six year old author.

My daughter, Rose, asked me if we could write a book together. She didn’t want to write one of the books she makes with felt tipped pens and held together with Sellotape, she wanted to write a REAL book. The kind of book I write. I told her it would take work, and it would take time, but if she