Writing Tips

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Read

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Blue

With VE Day, in the beginning of May, and Memorial Day at the end of May, red, white, and blue are the colours of May. They can guide you in your writing as well.

Read… What have you read lately? If you’re trying to write, it is wise to read. In the words of Stephen King:”If you don’t have enough time to read, you do not have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” Read inside your genre to discover what makes it tick. Read the classics to find out what generates staying power. Read widely and read frequently. You may write historical fiction, but scifi could still teach you an interesting lesson about effective dialogue. Or, you could write spy thrillers, but reading a love might help you learn about the nuances of nonverbal communication.

Write… Write, even if it’s a paragraph. Once you write something, the rest will follow. In the words of Chinese philosophy,”A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. The more that you write, the easier the words will flow.

How does this use? Write something that’s true. Am I suggesting that you only write nonfiction? But, research and writing wisdom have shown that if it is possible to insert truth into your writing, the reader will have the ability to connect better. In the words of Ernest Hemingway:”All you need to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

If you keep things too general or vague, it’s more difficult to establish a connection. Yes, they probably never fought in battle in WWII or painted a Renaissance portrait, but they may very well understand the smell of wood smoke on a winter’s day or the crunch of leaves when walking through the forest. And, obviously, if you also write historical fiction like I do, your writing will demand much research and truth.


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