Writing Tips

Here are some of my writing tips:

My first tip is to be comfortable with your writing instrument. I'm a dual-writer, which means - I write on a laptop and on a writing pad. Tapping keys is fine, but If I'm writing on a pad - I'll always use a gel pen; I'm just more comfortable with a gel pen rather than a ball point.

Whatever idea you have, get it down on paper or computer, that's the most important thing first. It's going to look awful when you go back to it, but then the work really begins.

The first paragraph or few sentences of a novel/short story must be really interesting. If the reader is bored straight away then they'll move on to another book and when they come across your work again, they won't bother to even pick it up. So, write exciting and gripping stuff. 

Make your character's magnetic. They must be really interesting and likable or hated (depending on what you're trying to achieve). Make the plot easy to follow and let the reader get immersed inside the story.

The adventure must be believable. That may sound strange coming from me, a fantasy writer. But, your audience has to believe in the plot and characters. They have to identify with them. If they don't then, they'll be unsatisfied with what you're trying to do. An unhappy reader is not the way you're heading in the writing world. 

Get a good dialogue going between characters, as soon as possible. When there's a good interesting conversation going on between two people or a group, then it brings the story alive.

What sounds better; 'Hello David, what are you going to do today?' Try this; 'Hi Dave, what's happening, you off somewhere?' Write the way people actually talk. The first part is too mechanical - no one talks like that. When the reader feels like they are part of the story, they'll enjoy reading on.

Also avoid cliches. Instead of 'I was as dry as a desert' write something like 'My throat burned and my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth.' The more original your work is, the more it will get noticed. 

This is a must; Always write about what you know. To be honest, I've never been to France, so really if I wrote a book about that country, then I'd be out of my depth. I don't know the streets, language or surrounding landscape, so to a reader who's been there, would know that I haven't. If I want to set a book somewhere unknown to me; I would research it in depth.

To make your writing flow - once you've written it to your highest standard, then read it aloud to yourself. It must read as smoothly as possible. If it doesn't, change it until it does. There's nothing better than reading your work aloud.

Finally, enjoy what you do. Footballers love kicking a ball around a football field. They'd do it anyway down the park, so to get paid to kick a ball is like a dream come true. Writing should be the same. It can get tedious, don't get me wrong, but for the most it should be exciting.


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