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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > September 2016 > Fiction: Change for the better

Fiction: Change for the better

Every story needs change, whether inciting incident or character growth. Jan Moran Neil helps you make the right changes in your storylines

My daughter had a particularly turbulent plane journey when crossing the Sahara desert

‘I saw my past few weeks flash before me,’ she said. ‘A whole series of events had brought me to what I thought to be a life-threatening moment on that plane: the discovery of my client’s text proving his guilt meant there was a gap in my diary to take this unexpected trip.’ She’s a criminal barrister so she’s used to seeing how the turn of events can have huge ramifications.

She continued. ‘My husband managed to shift the date of an important presentation to take the trip. My mother-in-law was waiting on medical test results which were negative. If they weren’t we wouldn’t have booked the plane tickets.’

And so the series of events, those turning points which changed her status quo, had brought her to this chaos. Changing seats on the plane would not have helped her. She was stuck and there was no escape but she lived to tell the tale. This incident was either fate or unhappy coincidence. It depends on your viewpoint. Either way, it’s our job as writers to mould the turn of events or coincidences into a meaningful shape.

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Star interview with Crime Novel of the Year winner and griplit star Clare Mackintosh 1 topic, 100 books: Make the most of your speciality Before you write a word: Start your writing life the right way 10 top tips: How the pros keep writing Author experiences: • Going back to school for a creative writing MA • "How I wrote three books at once" • Readers share their success stories WIN £119,000 in writing prizes News you can use! 20 packed pages of Writers' News

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