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Writers’ Block: Finding Your Narrative Style

Posted on January 7th, 2015

It’s 2015, and that calls for a New Year’s Resolution. This year I have decided to do more talks. More face to face time, more meeting great writers, more personal advice and guidance. I do an awful lot of emailing and reporting, remote work, by proxy. But sometimes that is not enough.

So, starting as I mean to go on… Today I did an event at Shoreditch House in London. It’s the first in a series of four. I talked about narrative this week (big concept alert), next week is plot, which will be followed by characterisation and tone. It builds on the content of the online tutorials I did in 2013, covering each of the major narrative elements. But the hour long talks are more expansive in reach, and more specific in application.

It was a full house, and the audience asked some incredibly insightful questions. (This was my favourite: can you use a fourth person POV, as is the case in screenplays?) We talked about style, pace, perspective and devices that add something special to a narrative.

The two things I said a lot were 1. you have to be a wide reader to be an effective writer and 2. make conscious narrative choices.  I would have said the same thing in writing, probably. But nice to say it in person from time to time.