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JJ Barnes – Writing Advice

Free writing advice – writers supporting writers

By - JJBarnes

How To Find Your Plot

On Instagram we were asked a question by @Books_To_Life, who wanted to know what you can do if you start writing your story, and you have some good characters and a good concept, but you don’t have a plot yet. How do you turn a collection of scenes and characters interacting into an actual story?

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By - JJBarnes

Making Sure You Don’t Have A Passive Protagonist

One of the first rules for your Protagonist is that they should want something, and ideally they should be wanting something they are actively in pursuit of. A passive Protagonist has things happening to them and around them, and they’re reacting to those things, rather than pursuing something themselves.

By - JJBarnes

The Lie Your Protagonist Believes

The lie your Protagonist believes takes your character at the start of your story where they will believe something about the world, and follows them through the course of the story as they learn the truth.

By - JJBarnes

How To Make Your Scenes Plot Relevant

My general advice with writing a story is that everything in your story, whether it’s a tiny moment, a whole scene, or a large section, it should be plot relevant. If it doesn’t add to your story, it doesn’t belong in your story. So, how do you tell if what you’ve written is plot relevant or not?

By - JJBarnes

How To Deal With Writer’s Block

If you’re a writer, you’re like to have experienced what is commonly referred to as “writer’s block.” This is where you cannot move forward with your story and any menial task, such as laundry or vacuuming, suddenly becomes much more appealing to you than actually putting words on the page because of how hard you’re finding it to write.

By - JJBarnes

Why You Should Know And Understand Your Genre

Your genre is the concept that your audience is going to buy into when they choose to read your book or watch your film. When you market your story, you’re marketing it to the audience that wants that concept, and then you have to follow through on the promise to deliver it. But you have to know what your genre is, what the rules are for that genre, and how to still be original within it.

By - JJBarnes

How To Write Narrative Triplets – Serenity Edition

A Narrative Triplet is where a concept or a theme is launched in the first use, established in the second, and then resolved in the third. It can make a good beginning, middle and end to your story, and makes the experience of reading it or watching it more satisfying for the audience.

By - JJBarnes

How To Edit Your Book

Editing is a really important part of your writing, and it’s something that all writers have to learn to do well if they want to be successful. However, it also has a bit of a bad rep. Editing hell. Hopefully in this post, I’ll be able to both teach you how to edit your book or script well, and also how to enjoy the process.

By - JJBarnes

How To Create Good Characterisation

Your characters are one of the most important things about your story, they’re how your audience connects to the story you’re telling, how your plot moves along, and, usually, the point of the story in the first place. To write good characters that your audience will be interested in and want to follow, either by reading or watching, you have to be good at characterisation. How you bring them alive and make them interesting.

By - JJBarnes

What Does Show Don’t Tell Mean In Writing?

One of the most popular pieces of advice you will be given as an aspiring writer is to “show, don’t tell.” Because that isn’t necessarily as clear as piece of advice as it could be, I’ll be dissecting it and talking about when and how to apply it to your own writing.