Guest Post: Joel Heffner: 25 Down to Earth Writing Tips
[This post originally appeared on Joel Heffner’s website/blog on Jul 18, 2010 and is re-posted here with permission. The original post can be seen here. Joel Heffner is a writer, speaker, and creativity consultant. He is the creator of The Story Starter (http://www.thestorystarter.com). You can find him at http://www.joelheffner.com and @JoelHeffner on Twitter.]
25 Down to Earth Writing Tips
- Do not blame anyone for your mistakes and failures. — Bernard Baruch
- Switch your point of view. Would that make your story better?
- You can restart your life right now! If you weren’t a writer yesterday, you can be a writer starting right now!
- Life begins every second. Don’t waste time thinking about it, start writing.
- To be creative, you might want to do things the un-techie way (for example, postcards instead of emails).
- Start your next short story by writing the last line…first.
- Go for perfect! Book writing has never been easier. Years ago, when I had to change a word I had to re-type (with a typewriter) the whole chapter.
- Can you tell your “story” using a series of pictures (with and/or without captions)?
- Try writing a short story that incorporates a line from http://thestorystarter.com.
- Follow less, lead more.
- Watch less TV and write more.
- All of the writers on the best sellers lists had (and probably still have) the same doubts as you.
- Read a magazine you never read before. It’s full of ideas…for writers.
- Starting a sentence with an “ing” word is a great way to start.
- Whenever you want to say “someday” substitute “today” and you’ll do better.
- Many procrastinators masquerade as writers. If you want to be a writer…write. Period.
- Gardeners will tell you that you have to be patient to see the fruits of your hard work…sometimes years!
- Get a 2010 almanac! Read through it when you have time. You might (probably will) come up with story ideas.
- Fine writing, like fine wine, doesn’t happen over night.
- If you can write a 5 paragraph composition, you can write a magazine article. Same thing…just a bit longer.
- Does your character transform for the better or worse? What would happen if you switched it?
- You can learn more going to a place you’ve never been than spending hours online. It must be the air!
- Going to the movies is nice…reading a movie script gives you a sense of how the story comes together.
- To learn how to write, study gardeners, photographers, poker players, pizza makers, etc. Learn from everyone.
- Just like the tango, it takes TWO to write…one writer and at least one other person to read. I’m not big on writing for myself.