I came up with this list to help myself in my own writing, but it could be useful to others, so I’m sharing it.
- Know your ending in advance. It’s okay to write without direction, but at some point you need to have a clear idea of where your story is going.
- Know what your story is about. This could mean know the plot, but it’s also important to know if the story will have some embedded ideas so that you can weave those in as you write.
- Explore all point of view options. Would your story work better in first person? Or is third person the way to go? Experiment with second person if you get stuck.
- Listen to your sentences. Read them aloud one at a time. Try writing beautiful, lyrical sentences; sentences that make your readers stop and appreciate their depth and importance.
- Paint a picture. Be more visual in your descriptions. Pretend like you’re designing an elaborate movie set if that helps.
- Make your protagonist pop and come to life on the page. Make him/her someone that people will want to read about.
- Know your timeline. Whether you create a detailed timeline or spreadsheet and follow it to or T or just know the order of events in your head, this is important.
- Don’t go easy on your protagonist and other main characters. Give them obstacles. Don’t be afraid to make their lives a living hell. They may come out stronger for it in the end.
- Read dialogue aloud as if you are the character speaking. Does it sound natural? Or is it forced? Make sure that each character has a distinct voice. It’s easy for characters’ voices to blend together.
Feel free to share any of your useful writing tips!