• Jenni Francis Writer  
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8 Writing Tips
Writing Tip 1 So you really want to be a writer?

1)  Carry a notebook and pen with you all the time - ideas and incidents happen at the most unlikely times.

2)  Put the notebook beside your bed at night. Dreams and ideas sometimes demand to be written down!

3)  Listen in to strangers' conversations - people all have different ways of speaking.

4)  Watch children playing in a park - see how arguments are resolved; how problems are overcome.

Writing Tip 2 Read, Read, Read, Read, Read!!!

1)  Notice how your favourite author writes an exciting part of the story. What words, punctuation, paragraphing did he use to build the tension?.

2)  How many favourite authors do you have? Read widely, try different styles.

3)  Which genre do you prefer? Look up 'genre' if you don't know the meaning. Here's a hint - do you like to read or write poetry, plays, short stories, novels? If poetry, which style or type? Sonnet, ballad, ode, haiku? Try many styles and genre until you find what works best for you.

Writing Tip 3 Write, Write, Write, Write, Write!!!

1)  Everyday, aim to write for at least ten minutes.

2)  Don't worry if nothing comes. Write nonsense words for a while and see what happens. You will be surprised.

3)  Plan to put at least one story idea in the back of your notebook every day.

Writing Tip 4 So you really want to be a writer?

1)  A special character comes to mind? Draw this person in picture or words until you know them very well.

2)  Now give them a secret. This secret is not revealed until the end of the story. What happens to your character as the story develops.

3)  Write a conversation - no names or descriptions, just two people speaking. Then ask someone to read it and identify the two characters. That will tell you if you are on the right track.

4)  Are your characters animals? Do the have animal qualities or human qualities? This will make a huge difference to the story.

Writing Tip 5 So you really want to be a writer?

1)  Whenever you go to a new place, look at it and write down your impressions.

2)  How does the place feel?

3)  How does it look?

4)  What is the weather?

5)  Trees, buildings, roads, people? They all help the reader to identify the place in which the character lives.

Writing Tip 6 So you really want to be a writer?

1)  A story needs something to be happening. What is happening in your story?

2)  Is it an adventure? People getting lost, hurt, kidnapped?

3)  Is it a detective story? Chasing and catching the crooks?

4)  Does a character have a problem they need to resolve?

5)  Is the story about a catastrophe that occurs and needs to be worked through? Eg earthquake, storm, boat sinking?

Writing Tip 7 So you really want to be a writer?

1)  Unless you are a very special writer, you will probably need to change your story.

So ...

2)  Put it aside for a day or a week or a month, then take it out and read it again.

3)  Now read it aloud. Yes, I know, sounds silly doesn't it. But it works, and you will see so many changes you want to make.

4)  Re-write it from memory. It will be slightly different. Are the differences better?

5)  Who is telling the story? You, or the character? Would it be better if it was the other way around? Change it and see if you like it better.

Writing Tip 8 So you really want to be a writer?

1)  You will need the following resources

a)  Dictionary

b)  Thesaurus

c)  Book of quotations

d)  A simple grammar guide

e)  Lots and lots and lots of notebooks!