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Tips on writing


Tip 1. Never tell anyone you are going to write a book. Not even yourself.

Tip 2. Never sit at a blank computer screen waiting for inspiration. It won't happen.

The glimmer of a story will come to you when you are - usually - doing something monotonous; when you're least expecting it.

You will feel a tingle. Make notes. Then forget about it.

If the story wants to be told, it will keep coming back. Take more notes. Forget about it.

Carry on doing this until your characters are walking about in your head. They've come alive.

Suddenly, you can't hold back. Sit down with a pad and pencil and write, write, write without stopping, or correcting. When you've got down all you have at that moment, put the pad away and forget about it.

If the story is "right" you will find yourself, more and more, living with your characters, getting to know them, chuckling at something they do.

When each new scene comes to you, write it down, until you have notepads full of scribbles.

I promise you, your characters will write the story for you.

Tip: lie on your bed and look at the ceiling and "see" your characters moving about inside your head: their hair colour, their mannerisms, their quirks, how they interact with each other.

If they are real to you, they will be real to your reader.

Stephen King said:

"My basic belief about the making of stories is that they pretty much make themselves."

I want to add that a story is delicate, ephemeral. You force it, you lose it.

Tip 3. You are writing for yourself. Enjoy!

Tip 4. Current advice suggests that a new writer should start building a social networking platform before starting to write their first novel.

Please don't do this.

Work in a vacuum. Work in isolation.

Turn off the internet. Check your emails AFTER you've written for the day.

To write, you need to be in your head, alone, with your characters without outside distractions.

After you've written that first book, then you can blog, tweet and facebook.

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