Just when you thought that there could not possibly be another single writing tip in the whole of existence left unexplored, I come along and drop another six on you!
So here we go with a ‘further’ six writing tips:
Steal from Real Life
Take inspiration from your everyday life. There will be people close to you who would probably make a perfect fictionalised character. Or there may even be bits and pieces of your friends’ and family’s personalities and physical features that could be meshed together to form a brand new character.
Make sure, however, that if you do base a character on a real person that you do it subtly so that they won’t know that you’re writing about them. Depending on what you’ve written, they might feel offended to think that you see them in a certain way.
Keeping with the Times
When writing dialogue, make sure that it fits the setting. For instance, a story set in the present day London would sound strange if the characters spoke like they were from nineteenth century London unless of course this is a part of the story and you are writing in this way for a reason.
You should aim to place your hook – that bit of story that grabs the reader, compelling them to turn the page and read on – in the very first paragraph. This can be hard. Some people like to say a lot with their first paragraph, but there really isn’t room.
Putting it Away
Having finished your first draft, put it away in a drawer somewhere and leave it alone for about two weeks or even longer if you need to. This gives you a chance to distance yourself from the work you have been pouring your heart and soul into. This is so that when you come to revise and edit, your eyes will be fresher and therefore able to be more critical of your own work.
When you’re writing dialogue, think about how real people actually speak. When you’re out and about, and you hear two people having a conversation, take note not just of what they’re saying, but of how they’re saying it. What words are they using? How loud are their voices? How does their body language relate to what they are saying with words? This can help you to add a little bit of realism to your story.
Sometimes a story is just a Story
People often talk about what their story is actually ‘about’, and they’re not talking about the storyline or plot. They are in fact referring to the ideas or perhaps personal views that are sometimes woven into stories to make some sort of point or to highlight certain parts of society or the world in general that the writer may not entirely agree with. These are great things to have in a story if you want to ‘say something’ in your work. But, what if you just want to write an entertaining story about made up things and made up people? Well, then that is perfectly acceptable too. After all, it’s your story, and you can tell it in any way that you’d like.
Thank you, as always if you made it to the bottom! Your time is precious, and I’m glad you chose to spend a little of it with me.
Until next time
© 2017 GLT