Saturday 18 July 2015

How to be a better writer. A couple of suggestions by April Taylor

By definition, all writers are creative. If they were not, there would be no impetus to pick up pen and paper or sit at the keyboard. It is also true that no writer, however talented, comes out of the blocks with a piece of writing that is perfect and polished.

Writing, as all writers will tell you, is a solitary profession and this does not help the creative writer develop that subjective self-criticism we need in order to progress along the road to, perhaps not success, but certainly, to better writing, more in-depth writing, writing that pays attention to character motivations and conflicts and does not, as I certainly did when I began, force the characters to do things they would never dream of doing in the name of plot!

There are many resources to help the solitary writer, online courses, social media groups and the like. However, two things I believe to be essential to the development of creativity into solid, "good" writing are a constructive and supportive local writing group and by that I mean one that has experienced authors in it who do not pull their punches, but are never cruel and, once a year, a week at a writing school.

I will be honest and say that I would never have become a published writer - both traditionally and self-published - had it not been for Hornsea Writers. And as for a writing school experience, I suggest you pop over to my blog to read more.

For more information about April Taylor, you can find her here:

Saturday 11 July 2015

Research - Making the Most of What Comes Your Way

If the ubiquitous question asked of writers is where do you get your ideas from? close on its heels must be variations on how do you get to know this stuff? Yet mention Research is often to watch eyes glaze over. Non-writers seem to think that some sort of academic degree is a prerequirement, and with it hours spent poring over dusty tomes. 

Most basic research - the stuff that prompts our inquisitive gene to spend hours in libraries or on the internet - passes by our eyes and ears, and often our noses, every day. The trick is to notice it. Being relaxed and outside the daily routine helps, as Linda Acaster has been noting on her blog.

She's just returned from a holiday in the fjords of Norway, and kicks off a short series of posts based on her experiences seen through a writer's eyes. The first is about Landscapes

Still to come are posts on the architecture of the Hopperstad Stave Church outside Vik, Bergen's Museum of the Hanseatic League, and the rather cryptic Viking Ships Not From Norway.