I’m a writer blog

Guidelines for writing Poems, Stories and Tales

Category: Writing

Is page range inclusive or exclusive?

Page ranges are normally inclusive. “Pages 1-5” means pages 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. I think most readers would be extremely confused if you wrote “pages 1-5” and mean 1, 2, 3, and 4. Note that you should include a page in the range even if the relevant text takes up only a small […]

Following the Chicago Manual of Style, what’s the correct format and sequence for a citation of one out of a series of pamphlets?

How do you cite a pamphlet in Chicago-style? Author First Name/Initial Surname, Title of Pamphlet: Subtitle (Place of Publication: Publisher, Year), page #(if there is one). What is the format for Chicago-style writing? Chicago doesn’t require a specific font or font size, but recommends using something simple and readable (e.g. 12 pt. Times New Roman). […]

Using place names from other novels

Can I use names of real places in my novel? Yes. You can make up places. Just make sure to indicate in the foreword that everything in your writing is purely a work of fiction, especially when you use the names of famous places. Otherwise, you might confuse readers – especially the young ones – […]

Switching Between First and Third Person

What is it called when you switch from first person to third person? Alternate Point of View (POV) is a complicated narration form, but, if done the right way, it can make for a captivating read. This technique combines the depth of a single character’s perspective with the versatility of switching between characters. Can you […]

Is my opening chapter too short?

How long should opening chapter be? Based on this dataset of novels, we can establish some guidelines for chapter length: the average word count of a chapter generally ranges between 1,500 words to 5,000 words, with 3,000-4,000 words being the most common sweet spot. What is a good length for a first chapter? There are […]

How to Win Short-Fiction Writing Competitions

10 Storytelling Essentials That Wow Judges and Win Writing Contests Get inspired by the theme. … Focus on a bite-sized story. … Structure your story with clarity in mind. … Hook your readers (and the judges!) with a brilliant first line. … Get straight to the action. … Give your character a goal. How do […]