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3 Quick Creative Writing Tips

Writing can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be a daunting one. I'm in the process of writing my third children's book and the final one in a series of three. But today I'm taking a break to share some of my tips for creative writing and hoping that in writing this I might be able to boost my own creative juice.

Work out what you want to say.

The first book was easy to write - I had loads of ideas and famously stole some from my stepdaughter. The second was more difficult, there were actually about 3 drafts of The Dream Hoarder that were completely deleted! However, it became easier when I really looked at what I wanted to say in the book.

My first book was an adventure, but I wanted to say something about being young and not growing up too fast. In the second, I decided to write a story about being true to yourself and not caring what others think. Once I had that sorted, it was easy.

At the beginning, you must start...or don't...

I don't start at the beginning when I'm writing. I have tried it, I've heard other authors recommending it, and I've been told to plan, not to plan. Sometimes told to just sit and write and let the ideas flow. I wrote the first chapter of The Imagination Thief, and then I jumped ahead to think about the ending and wrote a bit of that. Then I went back to the start. The thing is in my head, I like to develop ideas for big/dramatic scenes and then I plan for how I am going to reach that point. For example: in The Dream Hoarder I wanted Eva to be all alone when she went into the final stage, so I had to plan organic ways for this part of the narrative to play out. So, by thinking about that scene first I was able to write a lot more.

Characters need to grow.

Stories can either be plot-driven or character driven. In a plot-driven story, the characters tend to be infallible and the drivers in the story are the action and occurrences. In a character-driven story, we focus more on the thoughts and feelings of the protagonist and an important feature is that the characters need to learn something or gain something that they were searching for. It could be love, acceptance or courage. The plot is then sent to test them and help them develop those skills. In both my books, Eva gains something she didn't have before.

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