This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
1. Listen. I’m a terrible ear-wigger, mainly because I find other people’s interactions and lives so much more interesting than my own. Wherever I am, I’m listening and observing and storing away things just in case they might come in useful in a book or a story one day.
2. Have pen and paper to hand by your bed. I have all my best ideas when I’m lying in bed at night and although sometimes I’m too tired to write them down and have to silently repeat them over and over so they won’t be lost before morning, it’s much better if you actually make a note. Some of my notes I’ve made in complete darkness and they are entirely illegible, so maybe switch the light on!
3. Don’t be afraid to use the delete button. Get rid of things which aren’t working, even if you think you’ve just come up with some of the most remarkable prose. If it serves neither plot nor character then it’s got to go. I have trouble with this one!
4. Make mistakes. Start something. Work at it. If it doesn’t go anywhere, it doesn’t matter, you’ll still have learnt a lot from the process. I have heaps of half-written short stories to which I may one day return but currently can’t get to quite work out.
5. Don’t let criticism crush you. It can be difficult if you have rejections from agents or publishers to keep believing that what you’re doing is worthwhile. But if you love writing, you won’t give up on anybody’s say-so.