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How to rescue short stories and novels

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Are you stuck with your short story or novel manuscript? Rescue and revitalise your writing with these top tips.

• Go back to basics and plan. It’s not too late to strengthen the structure of your novel or short story
• Re-read your work from the start to pick up plot holes and character flaws, and then fix them
• Flesh out your characters and make sure they all have a purpose
• Consider moving action to the beginning of a story that’s flagging
• Use your third idea for a plot twist, rather than your first
• Give your work a holiday so you can look at it with fresh eyes
• Be ready when inspiration strikes. Keep a notebook by your bed
• Ask someone else’s opinion – but be careful who you choose
• Work on something different for a while to re-charge your batteries
• Be ruthless, and breathe new life into your work
Reached the end of the road? It’s time to move on to something new when:
• Writing has become a chore
• Your passion and energy are long gone
• You constantly rehash the same piece of work
• You’re no longer inspired

For more advice on bringing your short story and novel manuscripts back to life, see the full article in July’s Writing Magazine, available in print and digital

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