Advice to make your writing better

 In All About Writing, Jo-Anne Richard's blog, Tips for Writers


Could your writing be better? Of course. Same goes for all of us. Here are links to ten pieces of sage writing advice. Since we are celebrating story this month they’re all about aspects of story.

Read them all at once, or one a day, for creative advice and intellectual stimulation. They’re provided with our love – because it’s our passion to promote writing.

See the world through a story-teller’s eyes

If you can do this, then every holiday, every trip you take, can feed your writing. You’re never really resting. You’re observing, collating, picking up material. I suppose this is a continuation […]

Long conversations can be boring – in life and story

It’s a perennial problem for writers – the long conversation which reveals essential information. The solution? Well, the short answer is: try to avoid them if you possibly can, […]

Story can’t exist in splendid isolation

Story exists because of characters – and what those characters want. This was brought home to me again recently by an exercise we set in one of our courses. We asked our participants to think of […]

If you want for nothing – it’s the end of your story

In life people speak about “wanting for nothing” as though it’s a good thing. Actually, in life and in stories, it’s not a good thing at all. It means, basically, that we’re ready for death. […]

Scenes are like links in a chain

Each scene in a story is linked to one that came before it – even if not directly before it. Something happens in one scene, which causes a development in one that comes after. That gives a […]

How to deal with back story … from a master

We’re often asked about that most troublesome of subjects – back story. It’s easy to tell you what not to do. Don’t include paragraphs of explanation. We don’t need to be told all there is to […]

Pages of exciting events … ho hum

Exciting events don’t make a story. I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s a point that struck me forcibly when assessing a manuscript recently. You might have the greatest premise for a […]

Pros and cons of the fast first draft

“Don’t look back until you’ve written an entire draft, just begin each day from the last sentence you wrote the preceding day. This prevents those cringing feelings, and means that […]

Six tips for developing story

Upcoming courses 30-Day Writing Workout, Online – 1 to 30 August Venice Writing Retreat, Venice, Italy – 6 to 13 September Stow-on-the-Wold Writing Weekend Writing Workshop, Cotswolds, […]

Seven tips for developing story

Upcoming courses 30-Day Writing Workout, Online – 1 to 30 August Creative Saturday, Cape Town – 5 August Venice Writing Retreat, Venice, Italy – 6 to 13 September Stow-on-the-Wold Writing Weekend […]

Upcoming courses designed to help you write better story

Our weekend in Stow-on-the-Wold between 21 and 23 September will focus entirely on the generation and the framing of story. (There are just two places left on the course which takes place in this iconic Cotswold market town.)

The Cape Town face-to-face Creative Writing Course with Jo-Anne; the Online Creative Writing Course; and our Creative Screenwriting Course with feedback from Michele Rowe and Richard all kick off on October 8.

Our two intensive online Coaching Programmes,one on Story, the other on Scenes, launch on 5 November. Sign up early for either of these two-week programmes, with intensive daily feedback from Jo-Anne and Richard, and you’ll enjoy a 20% discount.

And finally, a curiosity. Between 18 and 30 of November, Trish and Richard will be manning a bookshop in Scotland’s booktown (it boasts 11 bookstores amid a population of just 1 000) of Wigtown. We’ll be bringing stocks of South African books to whet the appetites of readers, and I’ll be running a series of seminars, all on the house, for anyone interested in honing their writing skills. So if you happen to be in the area…

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