Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Eight Writing Tips

I've been slack, I know. University and all that. When you are at uni, you quickly learn to prioritise things. I'm sad to say my priorities run this way: uni>novel>blog. Sorry. Anyways, here's another post so I don't feel like a total slacker. I've gotten to thinking about what makes people good writers, having recently entered a writing competition and reaching the end of my novel. So, here are my thoughts on the matter, in the form of writing tips.

  1. Finish things. This is the first on the list because it also happens to be the most difficult to follow. Are you one of those people who has thousands of incomplete novels sitting on their hard drive? Pick one you like, and complete it.
  2. No editing allowed. Yes, half of what you write will be rubbish the first time around, but write it anyway. As someone once said, 'you can't edit what you haven't written'.
  3. Go with gut instinct. You may be the most meticulous planner in the universe, but if you come up with a plot twist while you're writing, implement it, for heaven's sake! Always be open to changes to your original plot. It can only be made better by your edits.
  4. Develop your writing style. By this, I mean you shouldn't try to copy other people's writing. It will sound shallow. Write things; small things, silly things, stupid things, until you are comfortable with the way your words come out.
  5. Set yourself a daily target. Writing a little every day can have a more positive impact on your quality of writing and your writing habits than anything else. Make yourself a spreadsheet if you like to track your progress. Remember, every little bit that you write contributes to your novel.
  6. Be realistic. A novel is not written in one sitting. Hell, even a short story takes lots of editing. Keep in mind that it won't appear over night.
  7. Read a lot. I'll tell you a little secret about inspiration. Inspiration comes from all of the little things you've read and done and experienced, mushed up in your brain and spat back out as original ideas.
  8. Have fun! This is the most important thing. If you're not writing because you're enjoying it, your writing will have no soul.
This is all I can think of at the moment. I may update this list later when I have time. Until then, happy writing! May your fingers never falter.

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