Three diagrams to make your plot a page-turner

Brilliant idea!

Nail Your Novel

Nail Your Novel unexpected plot developmentsI’ve had this question from Elizabeth Lord: I have just finished your book Nail Your Novel and found it extremely helpful for the rewrite phase of my novel. You mention graphs as a way to see where plots are plodding and character arcs intertwine – do you have any examples?

What a good question! Diagrams coming up.

First, though, a bit of explanation. Readers get bored if the plot appears to be predictable – ie the characters start with a goal and proceed doggedly towards it, step by step by step. This is a linear plot and it looks dead dull, like reading the syllabus for an education course, not a story. So when the characters have a clear goal at the start, we try to introduce developments that upset expectations. They’re going on the Orient Express? Great. Make one of them miss the train. Now everyone has a new…

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Help! My Characters Are All Too Similar! 5 Tips to Make Them Distinct

Excellent tips , thanks!

A Writer's Path


by Roz Morris

I’ve been asked this question twice recently–in a conversation on G+ and by a student at my Guardian masterclass the other week. In both cases, the writers had encouraging feedback from agents, but one crucial criticism: the characters all seemed too similar. And probably this wasn’t surprising because of their story scenarios.

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How to Deepen Your Worldbuilding

Another great post!

A Writer's Path


By Cecilia Lewis

Setting and worldbuilding are critical aspects of your novel. Having a vivid setting can pull readers into your story and bring it to life, and unique worldbuilding is often what sets a book apart. In editing both my clients’ books and my own, I find that establishing the setting is an underdeveloped or underused skill for many writers. I often work with my clients to strengthen the setting details in their works, and I also work consciously on establishing the setting and worldbuilding in my own writing.

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Richard’s Playlist (42) – Poison by Alice Cooper

Sitting outside the local pub, Richard III tells Rose about some of the events of his life, while supping his beer and snacking on crisps. She is shocked when he reveals that someone he was close to was poisoned! Who was it? All is revealed in the book Richard Liveth Yet, available to download for Kindle here, for just £1.99.

The choice for the scene title was easy; it had to be ‘Poison’ by Alice Cooper. I love the sheer evil he manages to express in his voice.

Photo of Alice Cooper




Image credit:By Ralph Arvesen [CC BY 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Richard’s Playlist (41) – Remember by Bryan Adams

Richard is fascinated by the Remembrance Sunday ceremonies and I thought this track, Remember by Bryan Adams was eminently suitable to illustrate it.


Photo of Bryan Adams


Follow Richard’s and Rose’s adventures in Richard Liveth Yet on Kindle for £1.99




Image credit: By Marco Maas (originally posted to Flickr as _MG_0631_flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons