Monday, 2 November 2015

Top Tips for Writers

1.       Read.
Join your local library and get your own ticket. Read everything you can get hold of – novels papers, magazines, flyers. If something gives you an idea, make a note of it or if it’s in a paper or a magazine, cut it out and keep it. Join a reading group and talk about books.

2.       Start now.
If you want to write, start now! Buy a notebook and a decent pen or a supply of pencils or just sit at the computer for a few minutes. Never, ever think, ‘I don’t have anything to write about,’ because everybody has something to write about. Write about your day so far. What was the weather like first thing this morning?
What did you have for breakfast? Describe your first journey today: was it to University; to work; to the newsagents; to the supermarket? How did you travel? Were you stuck in a traffic jam? Did you hear any interesting conversations on the bus or did you meet anyone as you walked along the road?

3.       Set aside time for writing.
Once you’ve actually started, it’s helpful to set aside a definite time for writing. Try this: set aside one Saturday morning a month, to begin with. Try to write when you’re full of energy and enthusiasm. Quite often, when we’re bored with something we’re writing, it’s because we’re tired.

4.       Don’t worry.
When you’re writing your first draft, don’t worry too much about spelling, punctuation and grammar. All that can be corrected later. Try to write as you feel: write as you think. Let your characters come alive on the page; paint a detailed backcloth to the action.

5.       Be kind.
 When you're reading through your first draft, be kind to yourself. Don't rip it up just yet. Think about how it can be improved. Acknowledge that it's just the beginning.

6.       Move on.
Now is the time to ask yourself a few questions: Is this story going anywhere? Is it a good idea? Are the characters believable? Would anybody, apart from me, enjoy reading it? Do I really want to develop this story? If the answer to all of these questions is yes, look at your work again. How could it be improved? Now is the time to start being critical in a positive and constructive way.

7.       Ask a friend.
When you’ve finished work on a story, ask a friend to read it for you. A good friend will read it and respond with an honest opinion.

8.       Join a writers’ group.
A good way of sharing your ideas with a local audience is to join a Writers’ Group. You will receive constructive feedback and discover how other writers operate.

Good luck. You can be a writer.

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