This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Bee Ridgeway, author of The River of No Return recently gave us her top five tips for writing.
1. Add more characters. I learned this by researching why people think Agatha Christie’s novels are so beguiling. I found that more characters forces plot – and helps show the many facets of your main
2. Write every day to a cliffhanger, either emotional or action-based. It’s like not going to sleep angry after a fight. Don’t go to sleep bored with your writing!
3. Put animals in your book, and try giving them an important role in terms of plot. Animals change everything, and reveal human character in ways you might not expect. You’ll know what I mean when you do it.
4. When you show your writing to someone for the first time, tell them you don’t want criticism right away. Tell them to tell you what works first, tell them to find ten places that they loved, that surprised them, that stayed with them. Only if they are really good at THAT should you invite them to brainstorm with you about what else could happen (still not what doesn’t work, mind you – what else might happen). And only if they are good at THAT should you invite them to tell you what didn’t work so well for them. That’s a tough test and you might end up with only one or two people who are allowed to go there with you. And that’s as it should be. POSITIVE RESPONSE IS SIX HUNDRED MILLION TIMES MORE USEFUL THAN NEGATIVE. Protect yourself.
5. It’s called “voice” for a reason. Read your stuff out loud to yourself. When you’re stuck, go tell a story or a joke to your partner or your mother or your friend – remember that you are good at making the people you love take interest in a tale, good at making them laugh or gasp or shake their heads at you. Gossip with your loved ones. Let your spoken voice be free and your writing voice will follow with more honesty.