This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
1. Just start! Write for five minutes every day. Everyone can find five minutes. It’s not too daunting. I started writing Sleepwalking on fivve minutes a day and I soon found I really was writing a novel.
2. Read, read, read! You can never read too much. Reading is what turned me into a writer and reading is what inspires me and keeps me going. If I’m stuck, it doesn’t matter, I read. It seems like an obvious thing but you’d be amazed at the number of people I come across who tell me they want to be writers and then, when you ask them what they’re reading, say they ‘don’t really get much time to read at the moment’.
3. Don’t let anyone tell you what to write, don’t write because you think you’ll make a lot of money and don’t write for anyone but yourself. Having said that, turn yourself into your own sternest critic. I think my family would agree than I am a bit of a bodger in every single area of my life except for writing. As a writer I am a perfectionist. My standards are high. I like to think that nothing shoddy or dishonest or dull gets past me.4. BUT don’t let your high standards stop you writing. Just write what comes into your head, trust your imagination and your instincts, then learn to look at it later with that cool, editorial, no bullshit eye.
5. Don’t write boring bits! Only describe the sky or what someone’s wearing if it’s relevant to what’s happening or how someone would be thinking (don’t worry, quite often, it is!). Don’t be poetic just because you think you should. The plainest language is often the most effective and engaging. Be direct. Say what you mean. Learn to check yourself when you find yourself being false (we all do it). But actually there’s one way to learn all of this and that’s by reading. Just READ and WRITE and if you have any talent anywhere inside you, you’ll find it.
The Quickening by Julie Myerson is out now.