Thursday, 19 June 2008

Harness That Gift

Tell Me a Story - writing advice

Anthony, I've a problem. I have a story floating around in my head. I know the character's names and what I want in the story- but every time I try to write something- it just doesn't feel right, its weird. As I start to type, I seem to loose interest. In a weird way I want to write-but for some reason, I can't.

Thanks for the email, Kiba. There are a few things you can do that might help. First you need to be sure you really want to write. If you do then nothing should stop you. Don't let anything get in your way.
  1. If you want to be serious, the first thing you should do is beg, buy, or borrow, a couple of books on creative writing. All writers need to get to grips with the basics of story telling. The idea of writing may seem like a fire burning into your soul, but unless that fire is fed with the oxygen of skill, those flames will fade and die.
  2. A textbook on creative writing will show you the right way to tackle your story and help you to become fruitful. You'll appreciate the why and wherefore of what you're doing.
  3. Artists in every genre - dancers, painters, musicians, all have to learn before they can harness their unrefined gift. They study for YEARS before they find success. They all display flair in the first place of course, but without direction that flair will flounder. Writers are just the same.
  4. You should stop listening to lay people. You’ll probably find a lot of friends offering advice - telling you how good you are - telling you where you're going wrong..... forget it. Listen ONLY to skilled writers or editors. Friends and family can be too enthusiastic or too critical – they won’t look at it with a qualified eye – they’re too close to you.
  5. If you're really serious you should join an online Writer’s Circle. They're free, friendly, and full of like minded people - some with years of experience to tap into and take advantage of.
  6. You should try to find a local writer's group - mixing with other writers will work wonders for your morale, they’ll offer good advice and give a professional critique to your work. you'll soon start to feel like a real writer - what more could you want?

Hope this helps you on your way a little. Don't give up, don't get dispirited - just keep writing and one day it will happen.

Next post on Tell Me a Storyj


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