Tips for writers

Tips for Writers

I often get asked if I can give any tips for young writers. You will find your own way, but these are some of the things that have helped me.

Top Three Tips

• Keep on writing through until end of first draft without worrying about getting it absolutely right – you can always go back once you’ve got the whole story down.

• Keep a notebook to hand – you never know when an idea may come to you or you will spot something you want to remember.

• Enjoy writing for its own sake as publication is a hit and miss affair.

Welcome to my series of 10 minute creative writing classes from my study, recorded during the corona virus isolation.

Write This Way 10

More advice if you need it…

  • Experiment with using non-fiction to enrich your stories. I find more inspiration in reading fact than I do other novels, particularly history.
  • Read widely – you never know where the next inspirational idea might come from.
  • Be original. Most would-be writers go through a stage of imitation but the trick is to break free and dream up your own kind of stories using your own voice.
  • Try your work out on an audience, reading aloud. It helps hone your prose style as you’ll soon hear the bits that don’t quite work.
  • Cut ruthlessly – if you doubt a section, it probably needs to go.
  • Enter competitions for young writers. You’ll get read by professionals and, of course, you may win. This is a more realistic goal than going straight to sending to publishers. Very few manuscripts get picked off the so-called ‘slush pile’ of books sent in by newcomers. Don’t let me put you off, but I wouldn’t want to set you up for disappointment.
  • And did I say, enjoy the writing? That’s what really matters.