- Count your adjectives and don't overdo it. Seeing excessive use of description words in a simple sentence is real pet peeve of mine! "Her long, dark, curly hair..." Eurgh, enough! This is my favourite tip, I can't stop thinking about it when I write!
- Find time to write regularly. You'll soon get into the swing of it.
- Connect with other writers. Whether it's through a writing group, on Twitter, through a pen pal arrangement, an online critique forum, get networking. You can share ideas, tips, understanding of the trials of our lonely craft, and make some friends for life.
- Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS, as my school teacher used to say). Tight writing is clearer and easier to read. Make sure only the words you need are on the page.
- Avoid cliches. This is a hard one, but an important one. If you're not sure, Google the phrase and see how it appears.
- Write something you enjoy writing. There's no point forcing yourself into a genre or story you're not passionate about, so don't just jump on the latest band wagon of zombies, vampires, 50 Shades...
- Read up on writing and expand the kind of books you read. The more new material you digest the better your written word will become. This doesn't work if you're only reading The Beano or the Daily Mail though, sorry! And read as a writer - analyse what you're absorbing and see if you could suggest any improvements.
- Set yourself a realistic but challenging word count target each day. When you cruise through it you'll feel great!
- Keep your eyes and ears open when you're out and about. Be curious... A snippet of a conversation overheard might become a keystone to your story, a particular characteristic of the person sat next to you on the bus might be just the ticket for your protagonist, or you might spot a perfect scene for your romantic encounter!
- Watch your rhythm. Vary the pace and lengths of your sentences to make it a more interesting read. This can work wonders for building or decreasing tension in a scene.
- JGTBTO! Just Get The Bloody Thing Out! As the saying goes, you can't edit an empty page.
Keep writing, all!
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Born To Be A Tourist