Inkpop Blog

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Writing Tips from Frewin Jones

Posted by inkpopbecki on October 27, 2010

1. Always carry a notebook with you to jot down any interesting things you might see or hear, or to make a note of any ideas that might pop into your head – there’s nothing more annoying than having a great idea and then losing it again before you can write it down.

Sleep with a notebook beside your bed – dreams and random sleepy thoughts can sometimes be springboards to a great storyline – but if you don’t write them down immediately on waking, they will often get lost.

Always have your “ideas antennae” up – and when you listen to friends or family talking, or read magazines or books, or watch movies or TV, always be on the lookout for things that spark your creative interest.

2. When writing fantasy, the sky’s the limit so far as creativity and imagination are concerned – but it is important that the fantasy world you create has an internal logic of its own, and that the world and the creatures in it obey that logic.
For instance, if there is magic, how is the magic used? By wizards? By anyone able to read a magic book? By anyone able to get their hands on a wand?
If there are dragons, do they breathe fire? Can they fly? Can they speak?
If there are vampires, are they scared of sunlight? Do they have pointy teeth or do they just take a big bite?
If people are immortal, can they die of disease or accident?
If people can fly, how would that change the way that houses are built? Will there be doors at ground level, or hatches in the roof?

3. It can be tricky to make dialogue sound realistic. You can check whether the words you put into your characters’ mouths sound like things people might really say by speaking them out loud. Record them if you can, and listen to them. Do they sound realistic? If not, try and figure out why not and keep re-writing till you nail it.

4. If an idea you’ve been working on runs out of steam, don’t be afraid to abandon it. You’ll find that the best parts of the idea will resurface later on in a different story. Nothing good is ever wasted!

Never write when you don’t feel like it. Forcing yourself to write on a schedule is a waste of time, and you’ll find yourself having to throw away or totally re-write stuff written under those circumstances; far better to go and do something else and come back to your story later.

2 Responses to “Writing Tips from Frewin Jones”

  1. blueview said

    This is great advice that I’m definitely going to use once I start writing fantasy!
    The last point is interesting because I’ve heard the opposite on many blogs. Some people believe that forcing yourself to write makes you, well, write. And the more you write, the more you improve yourself. Personally, I think forcing writing never ammounts to much because you just end up deleting it the next time you read it.

  2. Tiny1 said

    Great advice!
    I definitely agree with 4. I started a story, but then…it didn’t actually go anywhere. Then I started another story, and placed some of the ideas from the old one into the new one. The result is the best piece of writing I’ve ever done! 😀
    Forcing yourself to write never works, despite what some people think. I go through phases of wanting to do something. Recently it was drawing and art stuff, but now it’s come back to writing again. What you write always depends on if you want to write it 😉

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