In this post, we share English author, Chris d’Lacey’s Top 10 Writing Tips.
Follow him on Twitter: @chrisdlacey
When we found these writing tips on The Guardian, we wanted to share some of them with you. If you want to read the full post, click here.
Chris d’Lacey’s Top 10 Writing Tips (Shortened)
- To be a writer, you have to write. Often. With genuine desire. From the heart. Write a little every day if you can. A little soon becomes a lot. Write what moves you, not what appears to be currently in fashion.
- Aim for a killer first line. Go for a sentence that gives the reader some idea of what the story is about.
- Beware the ‘alarm clock’ opening. We don’t want to read about Fred waking up, switching off the alarm, yawning, scratching his bum, putting his slippers on, going to the bathroom, etc. Just GET HIM DOWNSTAIRS to find out what the heck is clawing at those windows…
- Don’t over-describe things. Part of the enjoyment of stories is building your own picture from the clues the author provides. One interesting bit of detail is worth far more than ten bland ones.
- The balance between dialogue and prose is a matter of personal style. If your stories are all dialogue, think about writing screenplays. Writing good dialogue is an art. Fictional dialogue is engineered to move a story along. Quick tips: Keep it crisp. Try not to repeat what the last person has said. Don’t use an assignation if it’s obvious who’s speaking. Any character who blusters, chirrups, exclaims or declares, etc. more than once on a page should be shown a red card.
- A few words about fantasy. Truth is, you can’t research a fantasy novel, because you’re basically describing an invented world. So be as adventurous as you like. The only advice I would give is to keep things in context…
- Stuck? Don’t burn, shred, or feed your manuscript to the hamster. Take a break from the story and listen to your subconscious…
- To make characters convincing, you have to get right inside their heads and experience the world as they do. You have to be them and use their SENSES accordingly, whether they are human, animal or alien.
- We’re often told to ‘write what we know’. But don’t be afraid to write what you don’t know…
- Finally, always believe in yourself and don’t give up. If you genuinely think your story is good, there’s every chance someone else will too.
Source: The Guardian
Source for image.
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TIP: If you want help writing a book, buy The Novel Writing Exercises Workbook.