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Betrayal: a Gritty Novel

Book Review: Betrayal by Sharon Brownlie Growing up, Helen King was let down by people who should have protected her. A father. A teacher who looked the other way when Helen was desperate for help. A social worker who didn’t believe the young girl’s stories of abuse. At twenty years old, she is a prostitute and drug addict who is filled with rage and consequently seeks revenge on people from her past. While trying to clean up her act, she heads to Edinburgh to hunt down the teacher who looked the other way when Helen was clearly suffering at the hands of her father. Miss Gloria Bryson ignored the cigarette burns on her young student’s body, the bruises, too. Although Helen is anything but li

How to Outline a Novel

Outlining makes the daunting task of writing a novel much less difficult. It’s where you create a story from beginning to end by letting your imagination roam freely. It’s fun, creative, and one of the best aspects of fiction writing. Without worrying about the scene-by-scene specifics, you develop the general idea of a plot, and afterward, you have a skeleton, no more. No flesh, just bones. By outlining, you can avoid writing plots, characters, and descriptions that lead to dead ends, which not only waste your time but kill your story before it gets a chance to take baby steps. To form the skeleton of a book, continue to ask yourself key questions such as: What is the story about? Who are a

Ten Tips for Crafting a Short Story

1. Identify a germ of an idea, which starts with a memory of a problem, a slice-of-life anecdote, a person, or a conflict that resonates in your world. Create your hook and begin the story with it. 2. Brainstorm the plot from beginning to end, letting the imagination run freely. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling, punctuation, or clichés, just let the story develop. 3. Use classic structure, which is like a three-act play, with beginning, middle and end. 4. Even in the beginning, keep the end in mind so you’re not wasting time on dead ends. 5. Suggest the backstory but don’t overdo it. 6. Narrow your scope: Draw the reader into your work with a focus. Your story should not be just a string

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