Hi everyone, I’m back again with another six writing tips to help you make the best out of your work.
Backstory can be essential, but it’s a good idea to try and spread it throughout a story, giving little bits away at a time. Some people think it’s important to put all of their character’s backstory right at the start so that the reader can ‘get to know’ them. However, the only thing the reader will get is irritated that the story has stopped so that you can give them a full biography of the protagonist.
To Prologue or not to Prologue
Prologues are a very divisive subject among writers, publishers and just about everyone in between. Some think they aren’t needed at all and that you should just start from the first chapter. Others consider a prologue a lazy way to deal with backstory; if it’s all in one place, you don’t need to spend time weaving it through your story. Others still think that a prologue sets up a story and gives information about characters and events that would be considered necessary information which has no place in the rest of the book. It’s worth a good think about whether or not you really need one.
Try not to overcrowd your story with too many characters. More characters just mean extra work in keeping track of storylines. If you’re not careful, you can trip yourself up and end up forgetting to tie up character arcs.
Try to avoid using obvious cliches like starting your story with a character waking up to the sound of an alarm clock, or by beginning with a lengthy scene that lasts for a good few pages, only for you to surprise the reader with a ‘phew, it was only a dream!’ moment. Cliches aren’t the end of the world, but they are cliches for a reason; they’ve been done to death. If you are determined to use a cliche, then some good advice would be to try and find a way of making it your own or to use it in a way that’s original or creative.
When you sit down to begin a writing session, before you start the work you have planned for the day, it can be useful to ‘warm up’ your writing muscle by rewriting a paragraph or two from the day before or to even rewrite a scene from a different perspective or in another setting. You won’t use any of it (unless you want to) but it can help to get you going and can sometimes help to spawn new ideas.
Finish what you Start
When you begin a piece of writing tell yourself that you won’t give up on it until you have finished. A lot of writers start a new project, excited and brimming with new ideas, but then after a while they end up neglecting it, moving on to better things and it ends up in a drawer somewhere unfinished. It’s okay to have other projects on the go, and it’s even okay to let smaller less important projects sit on the backburner for a while, but it’s a good idea to check in on them from time to time. Finishing what you start is good advice for all aspects of life but especially so in writing because it can help you to become disciplined.
Thank you for reading if you did!
Until next time,
© 2018 GLT