Welcome to week 5 of our Top 10 Writing Tips by… feature. Learning from mentors helps us to improve and evolve in our chosen field, and I still recall the top tips given to me at the start of my writing journey. In honour of that, and to help the next generation of writers’ young and old, I started a feature whereby established authors impart their words of wisdom and share their top ten writing tips.
Next up for the challenge is bestselling author, Sue Moorcroft.
Top 10 Writing Tips by Sue Moorcroft
Sue is a bestselling author who lives in Northamptonshire in the middle of England. As part of a British Army family she was born in Germany and lived in Cyprus and Malta as a child. Sue loves to travel, especially to Malta, which she thinks of as a second home. Her big passions are watching Formula 1, attending dance exercise and yoga classes, reading, and hanging out with family and friends.
Here are Sue’s top ten writing tips:
- Plan? Don’t plan? Don’t be scared to try either way of telling a story. You never know what will work for you when you’re stuck.
- Think of your page as a stage. Your characters are the actors. Keep them interacting with each other and give them dialogue.
- Dialogue can be more than the words characters say. Those words are just part of a scene that includes action, thoughts and a dash of description.
- Replace bland verbs with vivid verbs. Instead of walk use trudge, march, sprint etc to help your character act out the scene.
- ‘I can’t write it …’ I have faith in you that you can. It’s just that sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s hard.
- Sagging middle to your story arc? Prop it up with incidents, lies, secrets, accidents, a new character, conflict, surprises or twists.
- Setting can be part of a conflict. Has your character’s car broken down? Place her on a lonely moor in a snow storm. No phone signal. No one to help.
- Struggling with a character? Discuss her or him with a friend. Personality traits and motivation will often become clear.
- If you’ve edited your story so many times that you’re sick of it, change the font for the final read through. It wakes your brain up.
- Understand which character holds the viewpoint. Let the reader see what they see, hear what they hear, know what they know, feel what they feel.
Huge thanks to Sue for sharing her top tips with us. If you want to check out her latest release A SUMMER TO REMEMBER, then click HERE.
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