Looking for tips on how to write a story?
Kristina Cooper, the author of the Little Witch Who Wanted to Be Good children's book, gives her Top 10 Tips for writing stories.
1. Just start!
The hardest thing is to sit down and write because it’s hard work and facing a blank page can be daunting.
2. Find yourself some rituals to help you to sit down and begin.
Make yourself a drink, suck a sweet, tidy your desk, get a new exercise book, try and write in the same place.
3. Find a quiet corner and a time when you won’t be interrupted so you can concentrate.
You need a bit of quiet and a certain amount of time to write as if you are in a noisy place or constantly being interrupted it will destroy your flow. So switch off the TV, social media and your phone etc.
4. Don’t be put off if the first sentences aren’t that good.
Just keep writing. By the simple act of writing you are getting your creative juices going. You may well cut out those first sentences later but you need them in the beginning to get going
5. Decide if you are you an intuitive writer or more logical writer?
If you are intuitive just let all the ideas come out as they are, even if it is a bit of a jumble. Then revise, rearrange and put the structure in afterwards. If you are more logical decide the plot and structure first and then fill in the story.
6. When you have finished, leave the story a while and then come back to it later so you can look at it with fresh eyes.
When you are writing you get very involved in your story, so it is good to come back to it. You will then see better objectively how you can make it better or if the spelling and punctuation needs work.
7. Don’t over describe or give too much detail.
I have found that people often like a little bit of description but not too much. This gives their imaginations an opportunity to work and imagine the scene themselves. If you give too much detail for some people it becomes tiring to read. Subconsciously the listener/reader wants to do their part and contribute to the story too.
8. As you are writing enter into the story yourself.
If you enter the story yourself, you will often find the story will start to write itself and new ideas and events will happen which you hadn’t planned. This can change the direction of the story. Go with these. You can review them afterwards to see if they are any good or if they have been a distraction.
9. Read good writers and see how they write.
You don’t have to formally analyse these like you might do at school, but if you read a lot, you will subconsciously pick up the way other writers do things and this will help you.
10. Keep a little notebook in your pocket or by your bedside.
This way if you get inspirations at night time you can write them down quickly otherwise by morning you will have forgotten them.