General Tips for Writing
- Try to remember to take a pen and some paper (or a phone or a tablet) with you wherever you go- you never know when inspiration will strike. Leave one beside your bed too - dreams can be very interesting things.
- Invest in a good dictionary and thesaurus - it's amazing how often they come in handy.
- Although you can scribble down ideas wherever and whenever they occur, it is always nice to have a special, private place to write if you can find one. It doesn't have to be in your house, it can be in a library, café, or anywhere else you like to spend your time. If it is in your house, try to add all the things you need to the room, to save you having to constantly go back and forth. For example, if you like writing in your living room, slip a small dictionary into a drawer in the coffee table along with some paper or pens, maybe even keep your favourite cd there and put it on while you work.
What to Write About:
- One of the best bits of advice I ever had was: "write about what you know". When you first start writing, this advice is invaluable. If you read a lot of romance books you may want to write a romance story, as opposed to horror. However, don't think you should only write about book genres you know, you can write about your family, your pet, your favourite television show, or anything else you like.
- If you can, join a writers group. It doesn't have to be a physical one; there are plenty of internet-based groups for those who find it hard to find the time. There are many authors who would advise would-be writers to join such groups if they can.
- People watching is an excellent way to generate ideas- the next time you are sitting in a café waiting for your friends to arrive have a look at the people around you and try to figure out what kind of person they are. Also, overheard conversations can be very useful - but please don't purposefully listen in; it's not polite and you wouldn't like others to do it to you.
Ways to Generate Ideas (For Adults)
If you are completely stuck for ideas on what to write about then why not try a writing exercise?
You could try a kind of Cludeo-type scenario. For example, pick a name, a place, an object, and an event (it doesn't have to be a murder) and give yourself 5 minutes to write something including these four elements. The event has to take place, or can already have happened. Alternatively, if you are feeling really adventurous, you can even write lots of different genres down on a bit of paper and fold each up individually. Then choose one at random and write the four elements into something in that specific genre.