Creative Writing Tips

  • Keep a notebook and writing utensil or an electronic memo pad with you at all times. Why? Because ideas are everywhere, seemingly flying above us in the sky, waiting for someone to reach up and grab them. If you’re not ready to capture them they’ll disappear.
  • Listen to the concerns and suggestions of those who critique your work, but remember they do not know all the ins and outs of your story. Only you do. So take their ideas into consideration, especially if they are knowledgeable about creative writing, and when you’re revising, only utilize those suggestions that make sense to you.
  • How did I become a writer? I studied my craft and audience, read a lot of books, and wrote a lot. And I mean a lot. The more I wrote—and rewrote—the stronger my writing skills grew. Beyond that, I mustered my courage and submitted my manuscripts. If you never submit, you will never reach your writing goals. I ultimately received many rejections, especially in the beginning, but acceptances came too.
  • Avoid creating cliche characters by giving them unique traits, like a midget who’s the strongest man in the world or an ice monster who grows flowers.
  • Eliminate all verbs, like “going to,” “started to,” and “wanted to.” Such verbs weaken the writing and imply a character is about to do something rather than actually doing it.
  • Don’t be boring. I consider this to be one of an author’s golden rules.
  • Characters need to be acting in every scene, not just reacting. To help you accomplish this, give your characters goals they must achieve throughout the course of each scene/story/book.
  • Avoid info dumps. In other words, don’t include large paragraphs of backstory or other information you believe the reader must have. Instead, If the reader really must have that information, filter it in among the story’s events.
  • Strengthen and tighten your writing by using exact nouns, like mansion rather than building, and active verbs, like hurried, or whispered rather than moved quickly or said softly
  • Don’t forget to use your imagination. When you are writing in your character’s point of view, think about what he/she would do and what he/she would think about rather than simply what you, as the author, want him/her to do.

*** If you have a question about creative writing that I haven’t answered above, please don’t hesitate to ask me through my contact form. I will do my best to answer them, and I may add those answers to this list.