The Obvious

Grammar and punctuation are huge factors in getting published. You might have written the best story in the world, but if the reader has to keep stopping to work out why there are seven commas in a five word sentence, they aren’t going to read on. Poor grammar and punctuation are distracting and will stop people reading so it’s important to get these right.

Setting

It’s best not to rely on abstraction. Concrete details help the reader visualise what is happening far more than the abstract can. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes ambiguity can be an advantage, but most stories benefit…


Whether it be fiction or nonfiction, editing is crucial when it comes to writing. Not all approaches work for all mediums though. After all, you wouldn’t edit a poem the same way you’d edit an essay. So, this guide is going to focus on the most productive way to edit fiction, short or long.

Personally, I have a bad habit of editing whilst I write. It’s a habit I’m actively trying to break because of how counterproductive and pointless it is. Spending 20 minutes crafting the perfect sentence isn’t helpful when you’re writing your first draft. …


About Marc Nash

Nash is a novelist and flash fiction extraordinaire, living and working in London, with a strong devotion to the experimental. His latest novel, Three Dreams In The Key Of G, was published by Dead Ink Books and shortlisted for the Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize 2018. His first novel, , was published in 2009. You can find a full list of his flash fiction collections and novels here. He also has a Youtube channel and a website that are definitely worth checking out and can be found on twitter here.

As an experimental writer, how would you describe your preferred ‘genre’ to someone that is unfamiliar with the term?

I find this question hard as I’m not sure many…


Crumey is a Scottish novelist and scientist with eight published novels, his latest being The Great Chain Of Unbeing. He graduated holds a PHD in theoretical physics but currently teaches creative writing at Northumbria University

His first novel, Music in a Foreign Language, was published in 1994. In 2006 he became the 5th recipient of the Northern Rock Foundation Writer’s Award. His work combines history, philosophy, science and humour, and have been translated into fourteen languages.

How difficult was it to get your first novel, Music in a Foreign Language, published and has it had an effect on the way you write today?

After I wrote my novel, I got the Writer’s and Artists’ Yearbook and followed the advice there. I looked at the sort of novels…


Let’s face it, perfect characters are stale and boring. A truly relatable character should be flawed, with a need to grow and improve as the story evolves. Every important character you write should be original and unique. However, too many quirks can overcomplicate them and cause the reader to lose interest. That’s why your characters must be interesting and realistic if you hope to keep the reader’s attention.

This in itself is a challenge, but vital for any work of fiction. A well-developed character will keep the reader invested, and leave them wanting more. At the same time, if you…


Worldbuilding is an important part of any story. How in depth you go is always at your own discretion, but knowing the world your story takes place in is vital for that added level of believability.

So, even if your world is set in the city you live, it’s important to make sure your knowledge is up to date and you can answer any questions that might crop up when you’re writing. Worldbuilding needs to be far more in-depth for fantasy and sci-fi stories, as you will be creating a world from your imagination.

Believability and realism are key when…


Well developed, realistic characters are the focal point of fiction today. No matter how incredible your plot or world is, if your characters are flat, one-dimensional, caricatures with no soul, then the reader isn’t going to develop that all-important emotional bond with them. Think about it, would people really read Harry Potter, Sherlock Homes, or Jane Eyre if the main characters didn’t draw them into their world? That’s why character development is so important.

Of course, you don’t need to flesh out every postman, shopkeeper, and passers-by, but you do need to understand your main characters to write them believably…


Creative writing doesn’t just come naturally. Much like all forms of creativity, whether it be art, music, dance, or writing, it requires lots of practice. After all, the more you do something, the better you’ll get. That’s why exercises and writing prompts are a great help when trying to hone your craft.

Writing anything creative, regardless of whether or not it gets published is an important step when it comes to cultivating your ability as a writer. Nobody is born with the ability to write a masterpiece. It requires years of practice, and for the majority, numerous failed attempts. So…


Foreshadowing is a literary device used to hint at what’s to come without revealing the story. It shows the reader that your story is not a set of random events. Instead, they will see it as a series of circumstances in which the actions of your characters have consequences. It’s a subtle way to add a level of realism and foreboding to your story that the reader won’t notice until the big reveal, but when they do, they’ll thank you for it.

Think about the second time you read your favourite book. You already knew the outcome so the ending…


First, second, and third are the most common but these can be split into different types of narration depending on their usage. Further still, there are unreliable narrators, interviewers, and secret characters. All of which are valid forms of narration when it comes to storytelling.

I’ve read several articles on this subject, most of which only cover ‘the six’ types of narration. Except there are more than six. I’ve included the most commonly used in this article but still, there are more out there. Some are rarely used, whilst others like objective narration focus on telling a story through a…

J.A. Palmer

J.A. Palmer is a writer who ran a creative writing website for two years and is now the joint editor of www.onedge.uk

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