To celebrate the launch of my two new books, The Snowflake Mistake and Letter to Pluto, I am giving away a signed copy of the two of them. To be in the draw, just comment below with your most helpful writing tip. Hopefully we will get a good pool of knowledge we can share!
Here’s mine: Don’t be afraid to write a terrible first draft. No one will see it! Silencing your inner critic is really hard, but just tell them (or it) that you’ll be letting them out when it’s editing time, and they can feast on your words then but not now.
The moment I mastered this tip, my productivity increased by about 500%! What’s your most helpful piece of advice?
35 thoughts on “It’s giveaway time!”
Invest in a book of baby names to help you choose interesting and memorable names for your characters.
That’s a good one. My mind always goes blank when I have to think of a name!
Don’t be afraid to kill your babies! (Not literally), but sometimes letting go of that wonderful idea to enable the rest of the story to flow better pays off in the end! And often your dead babies will creep back up on you and fit more suitably in a different place!
Yes, so hard to do but can definitely pay off.
Discipline yourself to write every day, even if it is only a few sentences. Before you know it you will have finished.
Don’t think, do! If you have an idea just write or draw it, get it down, no matter where you are. Then don’t worry about it just do it and keep at it.
Don’t be afraid to write different topics.
I read a great tip yesterday about having your own “compliments jar” which I am definitely going to try. Every time you get a nice compliment write it on a scrap of paper and place in the jar. If you are having a bad or unproductive day, dig deep and pull one out and read it – great way to give yourself a boost. (The original post was on https://nhwn.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/building-confidence-as-a-writer-4/)
Ooh I love that! So much better than rereading rejection slips.
Love it. Very handy on post-rejection days
And well done on your two new publications – fantastic!
Agreed about ‘killing your babies’ – a piece of work is 99% of the time better when cut. So – as Lou says – write away in your first draft then – cut,cut,cut. My piece of advice is one all writers know: SHOW, DON’T TELL.
In the domestic scene there is always dozens of reasons to side-track. Tell yourself that you will wash the windows / do the laundry / tidy up the sitting room today and tomorrow you will write. BUT FIRST you will arrange all your notes and set up everything for tomorrow. Once at the keyboard you can’t resist that first sentence as the ideas start to flow and you are off and running with another two chapters and a plot twist in the bag. The washing can wait another day!
When stuck, look for a writing contest to enter – it gives you parameters such as word count, deadline, an audience to write for – winning would just be a bonus.
Go to a place where you can let go of daily chores and worries.
Perhaps a special place in the woods down your favorite trail.
A bench by the lake or on top of a mountain with a vast view.
If I do not have time for that, I visit my horses in the meadow, sit by a tree
and watch them eat. As soon as I start to relax the words come.
If you have horses or a friend with horses try it out and spend some time with them. They are great muses! P.S. The link below goes to my Vimeo channel where there are videos of my horses, Unfortunately I had to close my website because of relentless hackers.
Congratulations on the new books, that’s fantastic! I think my main tips have already been said (especially just getting the first draft out on to paper, regardless of the quality!) But, to add an obvious one, it’s very important to keep yourself inspired and entertained. See films, watch good tv series (there are so many!), and READ BOOKS. The last one may seem silly to have to add, but I have met lots of writers that say they don’t have time. What?!
I find a lot of humor and funny sayings and snippets in my everyday conversations with strangers. The particularly good ones I write down and put aside. As so often happens, one thing leads to another and before I know it I have the perfect place to insert into a story, and/or I find it is so good that I can create a story around the conversation piece.
My most helpful tip is to work on rewriting each sentence as many times as possible using many variations. Then read them aloud and use the one that sounds the best!
My tip would be to always have a small notebook handy to write down your ideas in. I often get ideas for stories when I’m away from my computer, and it’s tempting when you’re not writing to think you’ll be able to recall them later. But if I can take a moment to definitely get them down, I can save myself some time later on. When I am in a writing mode, I transfer the notes to a word document and reading through these paragraphs of notes often triggers other useful ideas.
There are at least a few ‘magic moments’ in a day….right after a lovely lunch, watching an interesting show or remembering a loved one…..lost or otherwise, after the evening tea ( which should always be accompanied with something delicious to eat and with a bit of spice!). There are ‘magic moments’ always around. Catch them and start writing! You will go a long way.
Talent is overrated, especially because it is never enough. The writer needs to endure, to believe in himself, to never make peace with mediocrity.
Writing requires the same method as toilet training toddlers.
Every morning (and/or afternoon) you are required to sit in front of a blank screen until you have produced something. It doesn’t matter what but something has to be produced before you are released from custody.
Even 100 words a day (two paras) will give you a respectable 36,500 words at year’s end.
Ha ha! That is so true, Margaret!
Read, read, read! In your preferred genre, and out of it. Keeps your horizons broad and your mind open.
To me this is the best writing tip ever. The more you put in (read), the more comes out (write).
The internet is a terrific distraction – turn it off until you *really* need to do that bit of research, and instead let your imagination run free 😁
Congratulations on your new books!
My tip: One way to make sure you have something to write about is to set yourself prompts. I like one word prompts, chosen at random.
This is how is used a prompt today: I write a lot of poems and short stories for children. I’m writing poems this week. Last night I was thinking about writing and the word ‘tumble’ popped into my head, so I decided to use that as my prompt for today. As soon as I sat at my computer this morning, I knew I was writing about tumble. An hour later, I had a terrific piece of nonsense that I will definitely be using in upcoming workshops and school assemblies.
That’s exactly what I do! A single word can spark off so much!
If the words are inside you, let them out, you can only fail if you stop writing. Congratulations again!
Write something everyday even if you feel you really have nothing to write.
Round out your characters. Give baddies at least one redeeming characteristic, and goodies at least one flaw. They will be more interesting to read and write about.
I agree with reading…. go to your local library (love your library!) and pick a completely different genre to your usual thing. Most libraries have a quick pick section to grab something from. I find my most interesting reads on the returns trolley! And yes, write something everyday.
Thank you for all your brilliant tips! The draw is now closed and the winner will be announced shortly…