© Ellie Daines 2014
Whether you're writing a short story or a full length novel, here are some tips that I hope will help you with your writing.
So what do you want to write about?
Write about subjects that interest you. Read a range of books to get a feel of how authors tackle various subject matters, for example families, friendships, adventures or mysteries.
Think carefully about the plot
What do you want to happen in the story? Where is your story set? What characters do you want to appear and what is their relationship with each other? Most stories involve a conflict or a crisis of some sort that a character or characters need to overcome so think about building suspense.
Imagine yourself as your characters
What are your characters personalities like? For example are they caring, courageous, rebellious, silly or grumpy?
Think about how your characters would react to certain situations. For example how would they respond to a humorous incident? Would they simply laugh or would they be cross? And how do you want the readers of your story to react to your characters? Many stories have a mixture of characters that readers both like and dislike.
How will your story be told?
Will it be in the first person – where you tell the story from the viewpoint of a character? Or will you tell the story in the third person where you use words like ‘he’ or ‘she’?
Use dialogue to help move the plot along and convey the feelings and actions of your characters. Make your dialogue sound realistic.
Write as often as you can
Try and set some time aside each day or week to do some writing and don’t worry about what you actually write down because you can always go back and rework what’s been written. When you edit your story, look to cut out parts that are irrelevant to the plot and this could include characters. Also, if conversations between characters are too long, think about shrinking it down so that the dialogue is more concise.
I do recommend that you only start editing your story once it's finished because editing throughout will slow you down, and it’ll take you longer to complete your story.
You never know when inspiration might strike...
Always make sure you have with you a pen and paper because you never know when an idea might pop into your head, whether it’s to do with your plot or is a piece of dialogue that you want a character to say. So it’s always good to be prepared.
Finally, just enjoy it
Have fun as you write, for me it’s the best thing about writing - it’s a whole lot of fun!