One of the most common questions I’m asked is: “Do you have any writing tips?” Well, yes, I sure do! Whether you’re a beginning writer just starting out, or someone who is more advanced, here are 15 fun tips any writer can use.
TIP 1: Use more dialogue and less exposition (narrative) in the beginning of a story, it’ll speed up the action and pull readers in.
TIP 2: Don’t use “She thought to herself.” in your story. (Who else does she think to?) Instead, put your character’s internal dialogue (thoughts) in italics. Be careful not to overdo it, though. Your characters shouldn’t be “thinking” the whole story.
TIP 3: Make a list of important details, so they don’t accidentally change during the story. If your hero has a blue striped sofa in Chapter One, it shouldn’t be red in Chapter Three.
TIP 4: Don’t let your characters relax or become too comfortable in a scene. Keep raising the stakes and ask yourself, “What could go wrong at the worst possible time?”
TIP 5: If you’re stuck on a character’s name, try freewriting for a while. If you can’t think of a name now and are busy writing, call the character “George” or “Helen” and change it later.
TIP 6: Ask yourself what the character wants (this is his or her goal) then throw in a curve and see how you can make things go wrong.
TIP 7: The type of story you write can determine how you use point-of-view. Short stories are almost always told in one character’s viewpoint, whether in first or third person. Novels and novellas can be told by many characters using different points-of-view.
TIP 8: When you’re in the writing zone, don’t think about what to write, write whatever pops into your head. And don’t worry about spelling or grammar—this is just for fun!
TIP 9: Set aside an hour a day to write. Not sure you have an hour? Consider writing on your lunch break or during a commute. Get up an hour earlier or schedule time after dinner. Make an appointment with yourself and keep it.
TIP 10: Avoid starting sentences with “suddenly.” It warns readers that something is about to happen before it does.
TIP 11: Don’t rush through a scene to get to the end. Stay in the scene as long as you have to and let the drama build. When a scene is fleshed out completely, your readers can envision everything that’s happening.
TIP 12: Each character must have a weakness he or she works to overcome. It could be anything: chronic lateness, unreliability, or fear of spiders. Use this weakness against your character in the story and show readers how he or she overcomes it.
TIP 13: Give your characters something from the past that can come back to haunt them. A secret is revealed (or is threatened to be), an ex-lover returns, a secret love child appears, or a scandal threatens to destroy someone… It adds depth and believability to the characters. It can also move the plot forward. What are the consequences of hiding the secret? What happens when it’s revealed?
TIP 14: Show your readers your character’s personality, likes, and dislikes. Describe keepsakes and favorite possessions (a coffee mug from vacation, a lucky keychain, or a cherished family photo). What does each item mean or represent to the character? Why do they have it?
TIP 15: Keep a folder for “someday” story ideas, characters, and settings. File notes, scraps of plots, bits of dialogue, and photos of scenic views that you’ve accumulated in one place. If you’re ever stuck on what to write next, open the folder and see what inspires you.
Want more writing tips and advice? Check out my non-fiction writing guide, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction.
This fun and practical book walks you through the story-creating process step-by-step: from getting a great idea to meeting your characters, developing a plot, and on to writing, revising, and submitting your work. It covers the basics of storytelling – regardless of what genre you write.
Each easy-to-read chapter is based on my years of hands-on experience as a writer, advice I’ve received, and the technical “know-how” I’ve gained in writing classes and professional writing workshops. It’s practical advice on how to get started, almost like a Writing 101 workshop. Any writer can use the tips and writing exercises for an extra boost of motivation or just for fun.
Ready to write? Order your copy here:
All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/4AqYN4
Kelli A. Wilkins
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, 6 non-fiction books, and 2 online writing courses. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.
In November 2019, she released Romance Every Weekend: 104 Fun Ways to Express Your Love, a non-fiction guide to romance. The book features 104 fun and easy ways you can express your love to that special someone in your life. Perfect for men or women, it focuses on tender, everyday gestures that let your partner know how much you love him or her.
Kelli published Extraterrestrial Encounters, a collection of 18 sci-fi stories, in August 2019. If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her disturbing novella, Nightmare in the North.
Her historical romance, The Viking’s Witch, was released in June 2019. This full-length novel takes place in Celtic Scotland and blends a sensual romance with paranormal elements.
In March 2019, Kelli published Dangerous Indenture, a historical mystery romance set in Colonial Pennsylvania. She released the second half of her flash fiction series, Cupid’s Schemes, in early 2019. These two volumes of lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.
Kelli released a Teachable mini-course, Fiction Basics: Finding Ideas in February 2019. She authored Fiction Writing for Beginners through Teachable in 2018. These courses are perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.
Not just an author, Kelli is also an amateur photographer. Visit her pages on Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/kelli+wilkins and iStock https://www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/kelliwilkins to view her photos.
Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor.
Visit her website/blog: www.KelliWilkins.com to learn about all of her writings.