This whole website is a treasure trove of creative writing tips, and if you’ve come to this website through this page, I invite you to explore further - there’s a lot of useful information here. But on this page I’m summarising some of my favourite fiction writing tips and novel writing tips, with links where appropriate
General Fiction Writing Tips
- Have fun! Relax. You’re not doing brain surgery. Nobody dies if you get it wrong. And being stressed about it is counter-productive anyway. Use EFT if you’re too uptight or stressed.
- Be disciplined. This might sound contradictory to the instruction to have fun, but it’s not really. Have the discipline to do your creative writing, and have fun while you’re doing it.
- Write often. Every day if possible. Writing’s like a muscle - it gets stronger and better with use, and atrophies with disuse. Stephen King always used to tell people he wrote every day except Christmas Day, 4th July and his birthday. But in his brilliant book On Writing he admits that he writes those days too - he just didn’t want to say it originally in case it looked too sad! (Mind you, we should all be as 'sad' a writer as he is!)
- Think of yourself as a writer. The more it’s your identity, the more you’ll do it.
- Respect your writing time, and make sure others respect it too. They don’t have to understand it, they just have to respect it because it’s important to you.
- Know that your success is guaranteed once you remember to have fun.
- Read a lot. You probably do this anyway, but it’s worth repeating. When you’re reading you’re absorbing the rhythm and cadence of language - you’re learning your craft all the time.
- Think about befriending the internal editor. Or at least, as I explain in the page on writing your first draft, learn to ignore it!
- Believe in yourself. I know this is hard, but do it anyway. Again I refer you to EFT if you need help with this.
Tips For Writing A Novel
The following are two specific novel writing tips:
- Know that writing a novel is a marathon rather than a sprint - be prepared for that, and for the going to be tough sometimes. Again, EFT will help you through the difficul times. I know I'm referring to EFT a lot, but that's because it's absolutely brilliant and one of the most useful tools for writers.
- The need to be disciplined goes double, treble, quadruple! if you’re writing a novel. Set yourself an achievable goal and stick to it. I think a word-count goal is better than a time goal, because then you have to achieve something. If you set a time goal you could spend it staring at the wall or playing Minesweeper. Easily. A word-goal of 500-1000 words a day is achievable, and those words soon add up.