Everyone has a story to tell. The difference between most of history’s great writers and everyone else has simply been a willingness and a desire to get a story down on paper (or, nowadays, a Kindle screen). Think about some of the greatest works of the past century; not all of them have been harrowing tales of adventure or danger. Many have been about everyday people experiencing everyday things and emotions. John Updike’s Rabbit Run and Richart Yates Revolutionary Road are excellent examples. With this in mind, here is a list of creative writing tips for any story, whether about the fantastic or the mundane.
1. WRITE. This is the first and most important step. Many people talk about wanting to write a story or book. They write notes and chronologies, but nothing compares to just sitting down in front of a keyboard and writing. You’ll never get better if you don’t commit to actually writing with some regularity. As with all things, practice makes perfect.
2. CARRY A NOTEBOOK or something to keep track of ideas in. You never know when inspiration will strike. I prefer the notes application on the iPhone. Many newer cell phones have a function like this. Use it.
3. READ. One of the best ways to improve your own writing is to read other great writing. Take note of how an author uses dialogue. Does the writer write in a different tense? Ask yourself what makes what you’re reading so moving/exciting/etc. Read actively.
4. ACCEPT MISTAKES. Get used to the idea of editing your work, but on the first run, just put it all out there. The best writing is the most honest. It is honesty and insight that makes even the most basic stories worth reading.
There you have it. Now write!