Advice from Authors

Keith Gray


  • You need a really good opening line to your story, a hook that will drag the reader in and make them desperate to read on. It could be intriguing or asking a question. Maybe it's shocking. It could be the perfect scene-setter. You could even force the reader to jump into the middle of an important conversation or argument. Have a look at the first lines in your favourite books. My favourite opening lines are in 'The Crow Road' by Iain Banks and 'Brighton Rock' by Graeme Greene.
  • Know who your main character is. What makes him/her tick? Before writing your story investigate them fully. Not just what do they look like, but also ask questions like, what are they afraid of? Do they have an ambition, a talent, a deep dark secret? Name five things they carry in their pockets. If they won 1 million on the lottery would they share it with anyone? Give it to charity? Or just keep it all for themselves? Questions along these lines should help you get to know exactly the type of person you're writing about.
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