Writing tips for the aspiring writer

By on September 22, 2017

Writing Tips for Aspiring Writers
Writing is a really joyous activity. I greatly enjoy reading and writing fiction 😀 . Below are some tips for the aspiring writer.

The opening of your story should be a hook that catches the reader and makes him/her want to read on. Usually you would start with the conflict or point of change. In some stories, you can, however, show a bit of the character's normal life before introducing the problem/conflict that changes the character's life. This type of story is known as the hero's journey and requires skill to write. The main point is that your writing should be deliberate and not a coincidence.

The first few paragraphs should further make the reader continue reading. They should be interesting and, if there is any background information in the first few paragraphs, it should be interspersed with conflict. Large chunks of background information or description will quickly bore the reader, so should be avoided. Pick up a few books and read the first few pages to see how other writers write them. (See how I do it in my short story "On the Trail of Snowden," posted on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BeginnersArabic . If you read the story, I'd love to hear your thoughts! 😀 )

Introduce the problem or conflict (or a hint of the problem) in the first page. If we don't know from the beginning what the conflict is, we may not want to read on. After all, it's conflict that keeps us reading. Conflict can be internal (within the character), external (between the character and the outside world), or both. The best type of conflict is internal. (Usually your main character's external conflict with be related to his/her internal conflict and the story resolves both. The main character grows and changes as the story progresses and the external conflict is resolved.)

Background information should be kept at a minimum in short stories, while in novels bits of background information should be provided at various places. Large chunks of background information at one place should, however, be avoided. (Background information is important to know why the characters act the way they do. What motivates them.)

Dialogue should sound natural but should not be exactly like real-life conversation. Read dialogue aloud to see whether it sounds right or not. Dialogue should also be consistent with the character's personality. If your character seems rogue from other descriptions, but the dialogue shows him/her to be extremely nice, there should be a reason to it. Does he/she have multiple faces? Is he/she that way with certain people? Or have you used dialogue that's inconsistent with the character's personality.

Every scene in your story should move the story forward or show characterization, or preferably do both. No scene should be there without a purpose. During the rewrite stage, ask yourself whether the scene furthers the plot or shows characterization. What would happen if you throw the scene out? Will the story fall apart like a sweater would if you cut some yarn out? Or will the story remain complete without the scene? If the story is complete without the scene, did the scene show some necessary information about the character? If not, then it's unnecessary and should not be included in the story.

Did you find this article helpful? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BeginnersArabic

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