23rd December 2014 — About Writing

How I write - my top 10 tips

2. Develop a routine. 
When I speak to writing groups, I often quote Stephen King - “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”

3. Switch off the Internet. I have an app called Freedom. It disables the Internet for as long as I choose. It's the best fiver I ever spent.

4. When a child, read a lot of books. If you haven't already done this, it's probably too late.

5. Always carry a notebook and pen. (I’ve turned over a print-out of one of life’s great time-wasters, Sudoku, to scribble on the back because I didn’t have my notebook in my bag.) The more teccy-savvy of you can take notes on your phones, iPads etc

6. Write a structure. I call it scaffolding. You need it while building your story. But that doesn't mean you can't change things, introduce new characters, sub-plots, as you write.

7. Don't plan the ending. It's affected  by everything you've written up to that point.

8. Use "said" for dialogue. It's something I learned from reporting for newspapers. It's a near-invisible word. It doesn't distract or delay the reader. 

9. Find your voice - the  expression of your personality on the page. Your sensibility, your way of seeing things. Write in your voice.

10. Read your work aloud.