10 Writing Secrets You Need To Know

By on July 26, 2016
10 Writing Secrets You Need To Know - Writer's Life.org

While writing may not be easy, it can certainly be made easier by discovering the tricks and tips which successful writers all over the world use to help them write more productively, more efficiently and more creatively.

Here are ten secrets to help you write better stories.

Make haste!

Writing as much of your first draft as possible as quickly as you can is a method advocated by many famous authors. Writing in one sitting helps you to get your first draft out on paper. It stops you from being overly critical. It prevents you from getting bogged down in the how and why of things.

Once you’ve got your first draft down you can spend months re-writing, editing, and ripping it to shreds if you want to. However, you are so much more likely to complete your book if you follow this method.

Create an incredible protagonist

Your story simply won’t work without a protagonist that is intriguing, engaging, and lovable. Protagonists must make decisions; they must overcome barriers, and they must be human. Your readers need to connect emotionally with your protagonist, so make sure you spend time developing this central character and the journey they must go on as your story goes on.

Be dramatic

Great stories are page turners. They are full of suspense, excitement, and uncertainty. Make sure your book is packed with drama, and that you end every chapter on a cliffhanger to ensure your readers want to keep coming back for more.

Show, Don’t Tell

It’s been said 100 times before, but this can’t be stressed enough. Your readers don’t want to be told how to think and feel, they want to feel it naturally. A good storyteller will show the action, give readers room to be effected by it and allow them to become invested in the story on an emotional level.

Pay attention to your dialogue

Great dialogue drives the story forward, allows readers to get to know the characters better and provides contrast between characters too. Learning how to create realistic dialogue means you must get inside your characters heads, really get to know them and how they would react in every situation and you’ll soon be able to write dialogue that comes naturally.

Don’t be afraid of sadness

Many good novels, even comedies have some elements of sadness or even a full-blown tragedy. Making your reader feel sad is very powerful. Use this to your advantage. Be brutal.

Be a great editor

Your first draft is by no means your last. You may well end up on the third, fourth, or even fifth draft before you feel your story is right. Make sure you learn how to edit your book well. Be thorough but also know when enough is enough otherwise you could get stuck in the editing stage forever.

Be experimental
Dare to be brave, dare to do things differently. There are some rules in writing you can’t break, there are some that you can - so take some risks and see what happens!

Get some feedback

All writers can benefit from sharing their work and getting a variety of opinions about what works and what doesn’t in their story. Don’t be precious, or scared to do this. Remember you can choose to take or leave people’s advice, but it is worth having all the same.

Don’t stop

Whatever you do, don’t stop writing. Keep practising. You don’t have to write perfectly every time, but just keep going. However hard it gets, rest assured that you’ll get over slumps, continue to improve and get one step further to completing your novel - so never give up!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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