How To Write A Story – J.J. Barnes

*Declaration of Interest – I am personal friends with the author in question.  I received a no-obligation, free copy of this book.  The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

Blurb: The world needs more stories, let’s make yours one of them!


If you’re a passionate writer with a love of stories, but need a few hints, tips and tricks, then this is the book for you.

Each section is dedicated to story craft, a writing technique, or an element of characterisation, using references from popular fiction and film.

This book takes you from the beginning, through the middle, and all the way to the end of your story, with everything in between.

JJ wants to help you become a better and more confident writer, on your journey to becoming published.

Anyone who follows J.J. Barnes on Facebook and Twitter will already know about her multiple popular YouTube series in which she (solo, and in conjunction with Jonathan McKinney) offers creative writing advice for adults and children, answers writing questions and offers top tips straight from the writing trenches.

This book brings all of that knowledge and insight together into one comprehensive and accessible guide to the art of writing. It includes detailed and thoughtful insider information – for example, about time locks, foreshadowing, narrative triplets – ideal for both beginners and those who wish to polish their craft.

Barnes draws on examples from various forms of pop culture (film, books, tv), and from her own work in those formats, to illustrate and explain her points. This has the effect of adding a layer of entertainment to the education, ensuring that this isn’t just a dry instructional tome. Similarly, the tone is informal and chatty – just a cosy little chat with an experienced friend, about how they do what they do, and how you can do it too.

If you are writing a story, or would like to write a story, then this book is a brilliant resource on how to structure it, step-by-step, to get the best out of the ideas, plots and characters in your brain.

Also, it is dedicated to your favourite book blogger/editor/proof-reader, so you can feel famous by association with yours truly! 😉

A lot goes into writing a good story, and it takes a lot of characters to complete one. But your first job is to write Chapter One, and that is where a lot of people freeze. Not because you don’t know what to do with the rest of your story, but because you don’t know how to start it.
I’ll be talking through things you need to include to write Chapter One of your book, and hopefully leaving you feeling empowered to make that step. The world needs more stories, let’s make yours one of them.

– J.J. Barnes, How To Write A Story

You can find J.J. Barnes at the Siren Stories website here or follow her on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

For my short reviews of her previous novels, please check out my Siren Stories post, for my thoughts on Emerald Wren and the Coven of Seven head here, and for Nature-Girl Vs. Worst Nightmare follow this link.

How To Write A Story is available on Amazon right now.


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