Thursday, 26 June 2014

10 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer by Beth Thomas

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I’m going to write this as a kind of chart, so counting down to my number one top tip. Starting at

10:           Stick with it! I can’t emphasise this enough. Just keep going – there’s always time to go back over something and tidy it up a bit.

9:              Allow yourself dedicated writing time. Set aside the tools you need, and the space, and most importantly, the time. Tell everyone “Go away, I’m writing!”

8:              Go out in the world and experience things.  It’s no good lying in bed or staying at home all the time. Say yes to opportunities, do different things, give yourself interesting things to write about.

7:              While you’re out there doing things, listen to the conversations around you. Focus on how people really speak, in real life. Notice how they tend not to speak in that extremely dramatic way some (bad) dialogue is written!

6:              Give yourself a break. I mean this in two ways. Firstly, get away from the writing for a while if you’re struggling. Go and do something else.  Most importantly, think about something else. Secondly, go easy on yourself. If it’s going wrong, or you’re blocked, or you get another rejection letter, don’t let it bring you down. Dust yourself off and start again.

5:              Carry a notebook with you everywhere. You never know when inspiration will strike, even if it’s simply an overheard conversation, or an emotional scene unfolding in front of you.

4:              Know your characters. By this I mean have a very clear idea of their motivation, what their personalities make them say and do, how they will react to things that are said and done. Write a character study first, complete with background things that happened before the action of the story takes place.

3:              Read as much as you can. If you read a lot, you’ll have an innate understanding of what a professional piece of writing should ‘sound’ like.

2:              Show, don’t tell. It’s so much more sophisticated to say ‘She threw the pen across the room and banged the phone down onto the table’ rather than ‘She was on hold for so long she got angry.’

1:              Write! Sounds silly to make it my number one tip for being a better writer, but it’s like everything – the more you do, the better you get. Even if you write utter nonsense, random words, whatever comes into your mind, it’s better than nothing. And you never know what might come out of it!      

About the author:
             I'm so thrilled that my debut novel, Carry You, is due to be released NEXT MONTH! It's a very personal book for me as it was influenced by my own experience of walking The Moonwalk for the first time in 2010. The Moonwalk is an extraordinary and slightly surreal experience, as you'll discover if you read Carry You, and it inspired me so much, I finally realised my lifelong ambition of writing a novel. Now I can't wait to find out what all you Goodreaders think of it!

Oh, and by the way, I'm not in Hooters magazine. But I quite like the fact that someone somewhere thought that I could be. :) 

Beth on Twitter: @BethThomas68

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