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Top Tips To Help You Enjoy Your Writing More

July 19th, 2019

This week I thought I’d give you my favourite (and, in my opinion, most useful) writing tips. These have been acquired over the years from personal experience, but also from listening to other writers. Some of them apply to fiction, some to non-fiction, but many apply to both. I hope you find them helpful!

  1. Write about what you know – or you can find out about. The first part of the sentence is good, but if we all wrote about nothing but our own experiences, our writing would be pretty limited. So look to the second half, too. There’s nothing like taking something that’s caught your interest, doing some serious research and then using it in your writing.
  2. Enjoy your writing – don’t look on it as a chore. If you keep making excuses and putting it off, ask yourself if you REALLY want to be a writer.
  3. Read, read, read! Read as widely as possible.
  4. Don’t show others your work too early in the creative process. Negative feedback or too many disparate suggestions can wreak havoc on your confidence.
  5. Use all five senses – try to incorporate sight, sound, smell, touch and taste into your writing.
  6. Always keep a notebook/recording device handy so that you don’t forget ideas.
  7. A picture is worth 1000 words. Keep your camera – or your phone – handy at all times.
  8. Always be inquisitive about what is going on around you – look for ideas in everything you do and everyone you talk to. (This is why it’s so important, as a writer, to LISTEN when you’re in company rather than always holding centre stage yourself.)
  9. Try to write regularly – get into a routine. It might only be 15 minutes a day, but your output will soon mount up.
  10. Write at a time when you’re feeling fresh and alert – it’s the only way to produce your best work.
  11. Find your own space where you are comfortable and can concentrate on your writing, undisturbed. It helps if you don’t have to clear everything away at the end of each writing session. (I know, this is a luxury that not everyone has.)
  12. Plan your work – produce a logical outline before you start to write, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction.
  13. Make sure your research is thorough and accurate; so check your sources (especially online) and check with experts.
  14. You might have a good idea for an article or story, but never start writing until you have a market in mind. Then always carefully tailor your writing to the publication you are targeting in style, length and subject matter.
  15. It’s not just short stories that need a beginning, a middle and an end. Articles need an intro, a middle and a closing para that rounds things off nicely, or they will seem rambling and unstructured.
  16. When you create characters they don’t have to be based on reality but you must make your readers believe in them.
  17. Dialogue isn’t just for novels and short stories – it can add life to your articles too!
  18. Don’t keep going back and revising what you’ve written at the end of each paragraph or chapter. It’ll slow you down and might demoralise you – so wait till the end.
  19. If you’re feeling blocked and finding it hard to continue from where you left off, write anything – however unpolished – until your ideas start to flow again.
  20. Be kind to yourself! Banish negative thoughts and believe in your ability to write.
  21. Don’t let rejection hurt you. It’s your work that’s being rejected, not you personally, and there could be any number of reasons for this.
  22. Before sending work out check it repeatedly until you are sure that there are no mistakes and it’s the very best you can do.
  23. Find someone you can trust to offer constructive criticism and give you feedback on your work when it is complete. Someone who has experience of the publishing world is probably better than your mum or your best friend! But if you don’t know such a person, then choose someone whose views you respect and who will provide honest, objective comments.
  24. Put yourself in a position where you are in contact with experienced writers, whether it’s through a writing course, workshops or seminars.

 

My guest next week is Marissa Noelle who will be looking at YA Books and the responsibilities you have as an author towards your young readers.

But before I close, don’t forget that our 2019 Poetry Competition closes on 31st July, so the deadline is fast approaching. Prizes are: 1st – £300; 2nd – £200 and 3rd – £100 plus each winner will receive a Writers Bureau Course of their choice.

Author: Diana Nadin

 

 

 

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