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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > September 2017 > THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT


How do you make the leap from plotting short stories to a novel? Different strategies work for different writers, advises Jane Wenham-Jones

I have had some success with short stories – both in women’s magazines and competitions –_ and I really enjoy writing them, but my dream is to finish a novel. I can create characters easily enough and have a theme and an outcome for the story but I find the detail of actual plotting almost impossible. When I read about authors spending a month ‘planning’ or hear someone say they always write a detailed synopsis first, before they begin, I think: ‘How?’ I have all these ideas swirling around in my head but I cannot get them into any sort of order or begin to make ‘a chart’ (so frequently recommended in how-to books) of the way the tale will unfold over thirty or forty chapters. I am close to despair!

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About Writing Magazine

What are the five secrets of writing a bestseller? And how do you grow your little seeds into big ideas? Find out how, in this month's issue of Writing Magazine. In our inspiring star interview, bestselling author Laura Barnett and leading singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams talk about their exciting creative collaboration, and describe how saying 'yes' to working outside your comfort zone can lead to extraordinary creative results. Keep up to date with the latest publishing opportunities and writing competitions in Writers' News!

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