Tips for Young Writers 24: Don’t think, just write.

Don’t think, just write. Great stories are complex, beautiful, mysterious things, that touch us deeply. The desire to create something profound is what drives many writers. The funny thing is, however, the harder we try to write something amazing and deep, the less likely we are to achieve it. Very few of us can THINK […]

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March 28, 2009

Tips for Young Writers 23: Write fast AND slow

There’s a time to write quickly, and there’s a time to write slowly. Write fast when you’re putting down the first draft – which some writers call the vomit draft. It’s important to write that draft quickly for a number of reasons: it’s fun to write without thinking (and writing should be fun) you need […]

Read More Tips for Young Writers 23: Write fast AND slow
March 28, 2009

Tips for Young Writers 21: Make writing a habit.

Make writing a habit. Writing is like running. When you run, your legs get fitter and fitter. When you write your fingers and imagination get fitter and fitter. And when you’re fit, you can really fly. So, write a little bit every day and, before long, your writing will take off.

Read More Tips for Young Writers 21: Make writing a habit.
March 28, 2009

Tips for Young Writers 20: Try to a get a picture of the ending in your mind before you reach it.

Try to a get a picture of the ending in your mind before you reach it. There’s nothing worse than reaching the end of a whole story then realising you don’t have a good enough finish. Basically, all the writing you’ve done could come to nothing! It’s only when I’ve got a little glimpse of […]

Read More Tips for Young Writers 20: Try to a get a picture of the ending in your mind before you reach it.
March 28, 2009

Tips for Young Writers 19: Write exciting moments as if they’re happening in slow-motion.

You know that super slow-motion they have during sporting broadcasts? That’s TV’s attempt to do what books do naturally. It’s their attempt to get you fully into every detail of the moment, so you can really feel it. Prose does that easily. So, make sure you do. Describe every single detail of the most exciting […]

Read More Tips for Young Writers 19: Write exciting moments as if they’re happening in slow-motion.
March 28, 2009

Tips for Young Writers 18: Keep a journal of ideas.

Keep a journal of ideas. Ideas are precious, and very slippery – they slip out of your mind if you don’t catch them quickly enough. So make sure you write all your ideas down in your journal. Then, when you’re running out of ideas for your story, read your journal and see if there’s anything […]

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March 28, 2009

Tips for Young Writers 17: Use a fast pen

This tip is super practical, especially for you younger writers … Use a fast pen (or pencil). If your pen is scratchy or uncomfortable in your hand, or the lead in your pencil keeps breaking, throw it out and get a new one! Don’t worry about having a cool pen or pencil or one with […]

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March 28, 2009

Tips for Young Writers 16: Read a lot.

I know this one’s pretty obvious, but I reckon it’s still worth saying … Read a lot. Reading a lot makes words flow straight out of your imagination and onto the page. It teaches you how to put words together without really having to think about it.

Read More Tips for Young Writers 16: Read a lot.
March 28, 2009

My two favourite books about writing

Having read maybe a dozen or so books about the craft of writing, I reckon there are two that really stand out. If you’re serious about writing stories, and you believe writing is both and art and a craft, give these two books a go. Story by Robert McKee This is an encyclopaedic guide to […]

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March 27, 2009

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Tips for Young Writers 15: Don’t let your characters say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ too often.

Don’t let your characters say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ too often. If you listen closely to the way people speak (and you should be doing that if you want to be a writer) you’ll discover that people rarely respond to a direct question with a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’. Instead, they usually answer with an explanation. […]

Read More Tips for Young Writers 15: Don’t let your characters say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ too often.
March 26, 2009