Writeous Works

Writeous Works

Where amazing stories are the law!

Writing Tips

(All tips here are just that...tips. Above all of these is have fun and be yourself. There are no real rules.)

  • It's true when people say the hardest part of writing is starting. When you get an idea for what you want to write, just start writing. Don't worry about how well it flows, grammar, spelling, etc. You'll be able to change that later when you edit.

  • Look for feedback on what you write and don't take anything personally. Most people who give advice want to help the story improve and aren't trying to insult you or your writing skills. Even the best authors can improve, so learn from what people say.

  • Read a lot and anything you can find. The best books are ones in the genre you want to write in, but reading anything helps. Just try to avoid copying ideas and content from a book you read. People will find connections from your book to other things, even if that wasn't even close to what you got the idea from. Don't be offended by this either. They just want to point out similarities, and most aren't accusing you of anything. Another point on reading is that if you don't read much, you'll fail as a writer. There isn't a single good author out there who will disagree because it's needed to write your best.

  • Observe the world around you. Everyday things can become inspiration for a character or place in a book. Try to play games in your head to help find ways you can use the information you see. Watch a person and try to make up the most creative background story to how the person got to the point they're at now. It can help and might give you a new character in your story.

  • The story is better than the skill. You must be able to tell a good story, but that doesn't mean you need great writing skills. Amazing writing won't save a bad plot, but a good story can still survive and be improved if it suffers from poor flow.

  • Make it seem real. This doesn't mean it has to be a realistic book, so feel free to write fantasy or whatever you want. The thing readers want is realistic characters and events based on what is possible in that world. If magic is possible in the book, make sure you know the rules to it in your head and don't bend them later. This can also help your story look more professional.

  • Use detail. A book is much harder to make than a movie because you don't have any way to show your readers what is around the characters. Take some time to give a little information on the location, character detail, etc. This will help with making the book seem real, too.

  • Write for fun, not profit. Most writers of fiction never become rich or even close to living off the money they make from writing. Write what you want to write and make sure it's fun to work on, or you'll fail. If something is popular right now, don't try and write about the same stuff just to fit in with them unless it's something you want to write about anyways. Besides, by the time it's done there will be a new fad.

  • Spend twice as much time editing as you did on the writing. It's better if you do more than that, but at least follow that rule. When you start, just write what comes out. The editing stage is where you want to add more detail, spend more time on characters, take out parts that you don't like, and much more. This is the stage where your final book will begin to take form. Work with someone who is willing to be honest but not too hard on you (it's only a draft, after all) and see what they think.

  • Avoid starting with dialogue. When the book starts, the reader doesn't know anything and can't become attached to the character yet. Save dialogue for more important things and give some detail at the beginning instead. This can be the setting, character appearance, or anything that'll help the reader get into the story and be able to picture something. Once you've set the stage, you can begin some dialogue.

  • Avoid exclamation marks. Only use them once in awhile when you really need a statement to stand out and try to keep them in dialogue. You shouldn't need them in any other part of the story.

  • The story length is important. If a book is short, each word you use is that much more important in getting the reader from beginning to end. Longer books tend to be filled with more detail and can get boring if done wrong. Find where you're most comfortable and notice how much time you have to write what you want.

  • Use surprise. A reader can get tired of a book if you keep with the same thing for too long. Add a bit of irony or a sudden twist once in awhile, but avoid doing it too often, or it'll have the opposite effect. It can also help to get readers to keep reading by ending a chapter (if there are chapters of course) with one of the twists. Just be sure to answer any questions you bring up by the end of the book.

  • Watch out for cliches. Some authors think you shouldn't use them at all while others think a well-placed one can help. Whatever idea you think is right, try to avoid them for the most part unless you're a more skilled writer. They can make you seem unoriginal.

  • Write assuming you'll fail. No matter how well you think you can write, there is always someone better. Have the courage to write anyways and be ready to let other people read it, and let them tear it apart. Go to someone who is willing to be honest but not overly critical. Let the person tell you what doesn't make sense and go back to fix the problems. This way, you can improve without the bias you have on it.

If you want to help a writer you know instead of being one yourself, know one thing: telling a person something sucks doesn't help them and only makes them ignore any help you might try to give later. If a story sucks, help them improve by making suggestions but let them make the final choice on things and support it when you know they want to stick with it. Most writers do it for fun, and you can take that fun away by trying to help if you don't know how to do it.

On the other hand, saying you love everything about a story without explanation as to what it is you loved or why is of little use either. It might make them feel good but there is nothing to use from your feedback. If the author had great use of dialogue, for example, tell them so they know what works.