I don’t claim to be any kind of expert on writing, but I’ve being doing it almost all my life, and I’ve learned a few things along the way that have helped me out. Hopefully they’ll be helpful to you too!
One of the best ways to get better at writing is by looking at how other authors do it.
Next time you’re reading a book, don’t just pay attention to what the author is saying – have a look at how they’re saying it.
A really good book can give you heaps of great story-writing tips.
(And even a really bad book can be useful, because it can give you tips about what not to do.)
Write what you’d love to read
Can’t decide what to write about?
Finish this sentence: “If I could read a story about anything in the world, I would read about ____________, ___________ and __________.”
Then write a story with those things in it!
Write about whatever you want, just as long as you’re excited about it. Because if you are excited about writing it, chances are other people will be excited about reading it.
Write down your ideas
This is a lesson I’ve learned the hard way.
I have lost plenty of good (at least, I think they were good) story ideas, just because I didn’t bother writing them down… and then I forgot what they were.
When you think up a good story idea, drop what you’re doing and write it down.
Start at the end
Before I even start working on a new book, I always make sure I have the ending of that book planned out.
Knowing the ending gives me a goal to work towards, and it also helps make sure that my story makes sense.
Most importantly, it’s much easier (for me, anyway) to keep going with a story when I know where that story is going.
Draw a picture
Having trouble describing something in your story? Try drawing a picture of it first, and see if that helps.
It doesn’t have to be a good picture – just enough to get the person/place/thing out of your brain and onto the page.
My writing notebooks are filled with scribbles and pictures and maps that I’ve drawn along the way.
Sometimes just seeing whatever I’m trying to write about makes it easier to describe it in words
Writing stories is like playing a sport or riding a bike – the best way to learn how to do it is by doing it.
Write. And write. And write.
And don’t give up.
The more you practise, the easier (and the more fun!) it will get.