Advice for writers:
I just wrote a short poetic piece after using my now
cigarette-flavoured (ugh) lip balm. I've written pieces
after songs hit me in a certain way, when someone says something
that makes me stop and think, after seeing something particuarly
interesting. In short, inspiration can come from anywhere. If
something triggers something in you, GET THAT FEELING OR IDEA
WRITTEN DOWN SOMEWHERE. Scribble it in the back of your note book,
save it on your phone, write it on the back of you hand or up your
Keep all drafts of what you write:
Even if you re-read and decide you don't like part of it, copy
that part into another document before re-writing. You might come
back later and realise that some of that would work in well
somewhere else, or phrases are better than you first thought.
Avoid using cliches as much as possible:
Use your imagination and come up with unique or new ways to
describe things. It makes your work more original and more
interesting to read, and potentially expand your vocabulary.
Reading the same descriptions over and over in different stories
get really old and can turn readers off.
Be consistent within pieces:
Don't randomly flip between first and second person, or
past/present/future tense. There may be points where changing is
appropriate, like at the end of chapters or the change of scenes,
but try to avoid changing at every scene change or
end of chapter, as it can confuse readers.
Use point of view appropriately:
You should write in third person (he, she, they, etc.) unless first
person (I, we, etc.) offers a really strong, interesting view of
Write from experience:
Writing about things you're familiar with is so much easier
than things you know nothing about. It also adds realism, which
helps readers to really connect with your story and characters. At
the same time, don't allow your familiarity with a situation
blur the lines of what should be there and what
is actually there.
(on a related note) Do some research:
Learn about the topic you're writing about. This can be as
simple as people-watching, learning mannerisms and habits of
people, or as intense as sitting down and googling things like you
would for an essay.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, USE SPELLCHECK AND LEARN GRAMMAR
Know the difference between their/they're/there,
your/you're, than/then and when to use much vs. many, less vs.
fewer. Start a new line every time someone new speaks and after
they've finished speaking.
Don't get too obsessed with speech tags:
'Said' is fine. If every line of dialogue is marked with
'questioned', 'exclaimed', 'asked',
'yelled', 'mentioned', 'noted', etc., it
detracts from what is actually being said and the context around
'Story' and 'plot' are different
The story of a piece is all events without causality or linkage.
Plot is the events with how they interlink and how one event cause
or influence another. If
you've ever asked a young child about their day, they will
rattle off a list of things they did and saw; for example,
I went to school and did art and had recess and played in the
mud and Miss Lewis got mad and drew a picture and climbed a tree
and got told off and fell over and my pants ripped and mum yelled
This is the story of their day. An older child will be able to tell
you what they did with how the events caused or influenced each
'I went to school and had art class. At recess, I played in
the mud and got dirty, which my teacher got mad at me for. I had to
draw a picture of why we shouldn't play in the mud. At lunch I
climbed a tree and fell after the teacher yelled at me, ripping my
pants on the ground. When I got home, mum yelled at me for being
dirty and tearing my pants.
Advice for writers: Find little inspirations: I just wrote a
Apr 14, 2014 3:08am