August blog

New month, new summer colour.

This month my writing article focuses on point of view – get it right and your writing will be so much easier to read. There are seven new writing prompts, two competitions for you to enter and a book recommendation. Hints and tips to come.

Getting started

During the past month, I have met three people who claim to be “non-writers” but who each have what they think is a good idea for a book. One thought a ghost writer might be the way forward, others were just “going to have a go”.

              I suggested to all three that they don’t know whether they are writers or not until they actually start writing. It may well be that they haven’t written anything since school essays. But that doesn’t mean you cannot write. Just as with starting any new activity – sport, hobby, craft – you have to have a go to see if you enjoy doing it and then you can learn how to do it. There is plenty of help for writers out there: on the Internet, books, classes, groups, workshops and this website 🙂

            I really loved all three of the ideas explained to me: one was family memoir, another a children’s story and another a short story. Here’s what I would advise to all three and to any others who are just starting out.

  • Decide who you are writing for.
    Family memoirs are for your family – a great way to pass on family anecdotes, incidents and characters so they don’t get lost. It is so easy now to have your book professionally published for as little or as much as you want to spend. You can have one printed or a dozen for presents.
    A children’s story can again be just for family and friends or you can enter it into competitions or you can try finding an agent. Just start slowly and have an audience in mind as you write it.
    Short stories can be for family and friends, for a writing group or for competitions.
  • Don’t just pile into writing. Make notes about your characters, how the story starts and ends, and what problems your characters are going to face on their way. For non-fiction, write down what information you have about your main characters, what incidents you want to include, a timeline and what research you will have to do to fill in any gaps.
  • Decide whose story you are going to tell ie which point of view you are going to use. This month’s writing article covers this.
  • Don’t worry about a title at this stage – it may well come as you are writing.

Try to write or research on a regular basis. I don’t mean a thousand words a day! I mean ten minutes a day or an hour a week, finding a time and a space when you know you can concentrate on your project. A few minutes a day is better than half an hour once every one or two months.
 
I’d love to hear how you are getting on so please do email me (from the contacts page) and I’d also love to hear from writers who have any other tips and suggestions for those who are just starting out.

Happy writing!

Linda

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