Ten Tips

10 ideas to help you improve and enjoy your writing.

Have Fun – enjoy your writing, try new things, be playful, be bonkers, be fearless.

Try writing fast – don’t worry if you don’t know what happens next, don’t worry if you don’t know how to spell a word, don’t worry if your descriptions are wonky. Just keep going. We’ll fix the other stuff later.

Be nosey – watch people, the things they do, the way they dress and the ways they talk. Write down descriptions in a notebook, creating a store of interesting phrases and peculiar habits that you can use to bring your own characters to life.

Use the senses – we’re used to describing what our characters see. But what can they hear, feel, taste and smell. We have five senses, use them all.

Give your writing claws. Use metaphors and similes to create pictures and ideas in your readers’ minds. Instead of, The man had a bushy beard, try (simile) The man’s beard was like a bird’s nest. Instead of The teacher was furious, try (metaphor) The physics teacher exploded!

Read a lot – because your creative monster feeds on pages. The more it eats, the stronger your imagination and your story muscles become.

Little details make a big difference – By digging into the specifics of a character’s appearance, for example, or the way they talk, our imaginations are activated. We ask questions like ‘why is it like this?’ and the answers can take your story to new and unexpected places.

Create conflict. Maybe two characters want to handle a situation in different way. Maybe they each want the last cake. Or are both in love with the same person. A character can even be in conflict with himself – not knowing whether to be honest or to tell a lie, to be brave or to play it safe. When you have conflict, you have a story.

Be mean! Stories are driven by problems. Start with a character that wants something, and then – as they try to achieve their goal – we put a problem in their way. Now we have some fun as our character struggles to overcome this problem. And once they do it, it’s our job to give them another. Mean. But fun.

Write in the dark. Particularly if you’re writing something scary. Writing in different places – in the garden, behind the sofa, under a table – can give you a new perspective (way of seeing things) and fire up your imagination. Plus it’s fun. And fun, as you know, is tip number 1.

%d bloggers like this: