I’m probably not the best person in the world to give writing tips, my writing isn’t that sparkling. However I read a lot and know what makes a readable story, even if sometimes I lose myself in the writing and forget what I say 😉 This is based on some basic errors that I noticed while reading hundreds of stories on Movellas over the past few months.
First the best advice I can give is never to give up, even when it appears that no one likes your stories. Remember why you write in the first place. For me and a lot of people it’s putting down in words all those magical stories that dwell in our minds. Being able to write these stories that only exist in the grey matter unburdens us. New worlds erupting from our pens or keyboards. Remember the buzz you get when these thoughts are transformed to words. That is the real beauty of writing. Sure it’s nice to share but when those words appear on paper or a screen, it’s your baby that’s been born. So never give up unless that moment of creation doesn’t give you the buzz it once did.
So, where do I go from here? Well plan, plan and plan. Make sure before you put a word down that you know what is going to happen in the story. How often have we started a story because we had a great idea and then after a chapter realise we have no idea where it is going. Planning ahead is so important, working out the characters, locations and interactions. Getting the main scenes in, the beginning landmark events and the all important finish. I know to my cost 100,000 words into a NaNoWriMo that I found a big plot hole as I’d just gone with the flow and not planned properly. That doesn’t preclude us writing little phrases or paragraphs and squirrelling them away to use later. I hear of lots of people who after a great first part then start to question what they should put next. Time planning at the start solves a lot of problems.
On thing I would say though is before people write they should read plenty. You can never read too much, but not just concentrating on the words. You need to look at layouts, lengths of chapters and sections. These can vary wildly. Remember all these things when you lay out your story. Stories need to be written in coherent language. Punctuation is so important. Our eyes are used to working a certain way when we read and anything outside the norm in terms of formatting we find it harder to focus, the flow is interrupted. Sometimes I see work which cleverly uses text to emphasis statements, but all too often bad punctuation and lack of capitals spoils the read before I get very far. I’m no angel at this myself.
So the first three, and in my humble opinion, the most important are keep writing for yourself, plan, plan plan and make sure you use correct English.
More writing tips will be appearing on Mercurial Sheep very soon.