Writing advice for image thinkers

Are you a creator but not so much a writer? And do you want to write something that grabs the reader by the scruff of the neck? Nine tips to get you started.

1 – Before you start writing, take a walk (or get in the shower or do the washing up). Think about the scene you want to write. Try to picture it as if it were a movie.

2 – Are you working on a more factual text, such as an essay? First put the structure in place.  Summarise your story in topical sentences: these are sentences that summarise an entire paragraph. Make sure that each sentence follows logically from the previous one. So, from A follows B, from B follows C.

3 – Do you want to tell your story in scenes, so I can experience it with you? Bear in mind that to set a scene you generally need about 300-500 words (about one A4). So, include only those that change the course of your story.

4 – Make sure there is a development in every scene. So, the scene ends differently than it began. The main character wants to achieve something and succeeds – or fails, of course.

5 – Write your story chronologically. If you want to tell something that has already happened (a flashback), see if you can tell that event before. If you must use a flashback, limit it to a maximum of two paragraphs. For with every leap in time you make, you run the risk of losing your reader.

6 – Don’t give me your opinion or conclusion, just the facts. So don’t say the old woman has difficulty with authority. Write “she still cycled through a red light at the age of 88.”

7 – Be specific. Better “a white Ferrari” than “an expensive sports car”.

8 – And while you’re writing, ignore that inner voice that says your writing sucks. It’s perfectly fine input but save it for another day.

9 – Print out your text. You’ll see that you read differently on paper. So, put it away for a day or two and look at it again later.