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'More Writing Tips'

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  • Tip Bones

How gratifying is it to begin the year off with a set of resolutions you assure yourself you will achieve – The problem is, however, that many of us never even start the resolutions we make, let alone achieve them. For all those aspiring writers out there, here are top tips and resolutions that are, hopefully, achievable all year round.


Attainable Resolutions:

 

The best tip I can give, and the best resolution you could make for yourself is to, quite simply, write – because, let’s face it, you can’t call yourself a writer if you don’t actually do it. It’s the only way to learn the process, find your voice, find your style, and improve. Trust me, it works.


Conversely, if you want to be a writer, you should also be a reader. Read the sort of things you would like to write, be inspired by the written word, and learn from all the talented writers out there. Be educated and entertained at the same time.


Beginner writers are often told to write about what you know, but I don’t think this is one-hundred percent true. Sure it helps. Nevertheless, I knew nothing about some industries before writing, and that did not stop me – in fact, it made it all the more interesting, as I loved finding out about it. 


We all know what it is to be human, and drawing on one’s emotional and life experiences is what really drives the character. Everything else you can research.


Research:


On the topic of research, don’t get bogged down in it. We all know how easy it is to get side-tracked by interesting facts and tidbits of information and waste hours of time on the Internet when it could be better spent writing. Unless, perhaps, you’re writing something like a historical novel, I suggest when you are starting out to research just enough so you can begin writing, and then when you’ve finished, fact-check and fill in the gaps and details where required.


Here is a writing quote by Anton Chekhov: ‘Don’t tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass’, which basically means show, don’t tell.


Draw on all the powers of your imagination to paint a picture. Sometimes it’s easier said than done but, boy, done well, it will take your writing to the next level.


When I’m writing, I sometimes find it helpful to think about it as if it were a film and use cinematic techniques, such as zooming in, zooming out, keeping the dialogue sparse, ensuring pace changes and focusing on the mood you are trying to create. Visualization is a really helpful technique for a writer because the more you can see and feel what you’re writing, the more the reader will be able to as well.


Pretend you’re a cynical journalist and question yourself regularly – about the characters why they are doing, what they’re doing, etc, the plot, why does ‘x’ happen, when it does, etc, and ultimately, what it is you’re writing about. For if you don’t know or don’t even care much about what you’re writing, then your readers won’t either.


Don’t just write but re-write, then repeat the process. Learning how to edit your work is just as important as mastering the art of writing.


Be open to inspiration always and everywhere. Be the silent observer and don’t be shy to eavesdrop in public – at cafes, in the street, on buses and trains. You’ll be amazed at what real life can throw your way.


Don’t give up. If you really want to write, keep on at it. But if you love it enough, you won’t want to anyway. Happy writing.


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