Short Stories: 10 Tips for Creative Writers.
This is a fantastic read. The points are short and easily digestible, but are fundamental to being a good writer, to writing compelling stories that people want to read. This sums up everything more concisely than five years at university and more creative writing classes and stories than I can remember. Some highlights I found particularly poignant were these:
1. Read. READ. Read read read, read some more. For me, personally, reading has advanced my writing ability more than actually writing has. I internalise much of what I read, so the lessons really sink in.
2. Develop your characters. Know so much more about them than you’ll ever include in the story. Write little mini-biographies of every character, their likes and dislikes, fears and hobbies. That history will give your characters a vitality and realism that can’t exist otherwise.
3. Show, don’t tell. Describe the way a character does something, do not just say what they’re doing. Use a mannerism to express an emotion, don’t just tell us what they’re feeling. If a character is nervous, have them scratch their neck, fidget, shuffle their feet.
There are tons of great tips and suggestions about writing here, I highly recommend reading all of it, and then reading it again and keeping it handy when you’re writing. Writing is hard! Making something memorable and worthwhile isn’t an easy task, use all the resources available to you. The instinct to tell stories may come naturally, but the process is anything but, so hone your abilities and get writing!
Love this! Especially #1. I’m not working on a manuscript at the moment, and I’ve so enjoyed reading it up during this breather. It’s helpful to feed myself some words every day.
cheers for the link!
Oh man, reading is the best way to learn. I’ve not had to worry about finding ideas, and it’s solely because I read so much.
Here’s an interesting thing I found. I don’t fully agree with his whole ‘no cliches, no’ bit, but he makes a lot of good points. http://www.darkecho.com/JohnShirley/write.html