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writing tips

I hope that my writing tips will give you pause for thought, help develop your writing or even provide a hint of inspiration. Come back soon to see the next tip.

what's your time?

Vein of GoldAre you currently watching Games of Thrones, Outlander, Granchester or Pride and Prejudice? Do biographies of great political figures excite you or do you prefer celebrity biogs? Many of my author friends are happiest writing about the medieval past, the Tudors, Regency or Victorian times and others the First or Second World war. Then there are others who only feel right in the present day or a fantastical future. We are all different and each has an audience for what they write.

Finding your place in time is very personal and here is an exercise I found in Julia Cameron’s excellent : Vein of Gold  that might confirm your choices.

Pile of magazinesTake a pile of used mags and without pondering just tear out any image that take your eye. Do this until you have a pile of pictures or headlines.

Again without agonising stick them on a sheet of paper or pin on a wall in any order, juggle them about until you feel you have them all up and stand back to see any connections, anything that surprises you about your choice. What feelings do they flag up?

When I did this for the first time many years ago, one of the most startling images for me was a young woman in a tweed jacket with a cleavage showing, a period house and garden, a big gate. There was something repressed and passionate about most of the pictures I had chosen and most were in old costume. You see where I am heading? One of my favourite films then was “Brief Encounter and The Witness. It confirmed that I am most comfortable writing about the past. Stories might start in the present but the core of the story will be set in the past. I notice wartime features regularly but I am currently going back even further to the early eighteenth century.

Choosing  another time is not an easy option though. Be prepared for fascinating research and a different world view that you have to make understandable to modern readers but the rewards are legion.

Good luck with your writing




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