For today’s post, I asked Julia N., the amazing writer behind the blog Willowcreek Pines, to post on my blog. On her blog, Julia writes about her life as a writer, gives writing tips, does book and movie reviews, and much more. I love reading her blog, and I know you will too, so be sure to check that out! Today, Julia decided to share three writing tips that she’s learned over her years of writing. I hope you enjoy today’s post!
Hello! My name is Julia Nelson. I write mainly non-fiction articles, historical fiction stories, and weekly blog posts at my blog Willowcreek Pines. As a Christian, I love encouraging others in the Lord and writing for Him. Being a member of the Young Writer’s Workshop, I enjoy connecting with other young writers like myself, as well as learning more about the writing craft from amazing instructors.
Today, I’d like to share three writing tips with you that I’ve learned while writing.
1. Write your idea down as soon as it comes to you.
Don’t learn this the hard way, as I have done! I’ve probably lost several great ideas simply because I was too lazy to write them down. “I’ll remember them later,” I thought. Well, I didn’t, and I have regretted not writing my ideas down right away.
Put notebooks and pens/pencils where you can reach them easily and write your idea down quickly. For example, I have a small notebook beside my bed with a pencil, just in case I need to write an idea down at night (which happens a lot). Also, I have a pencil and a tiny notebook that I carry around in my purse. That, too, has come in handy. It isn’t often that you see me without a notebook nearby.
Don’t put it off! Write your idea down as soon as possible.
2. A shorthand way to write down your idea
You don’t need to have a name for your main character(s) when an idea pops into your head. Just say “Boy” or “Girl” in place of their names for the moment.
When writing names, you could simply write their initial. For example, instead of saying “Susan finally arrived at flute lessons,” you could say, “S finally arrived at flute lessons.” A friend taught me that, and it has really helped to save time when I’m trying to write down an idea quickly.
“But what if my main characters are Samuel and Susanna?” you might ask. “I can’t just use ‘S’. Then I wouldn’t know which character I was talking about.”
Good question. What I would probably do is put “Sa” for Samuel and “Su” for Susanna. You will want to note that when you first mention Samuel or Susanna in your story idea that you write their entire names out. That way, when going to write your story, you won’t forget what your characters’ names are.
You could also use this tip when writing down a long (or even a short) name of a place, instead of taking time to write it out entirely. By the time you’ve done that, you’ll have forgotten what you were going to write in the first place!
3. Do NOT throw your writing away!
If you could listen to and apply any of these three pieces of advice to your writing life, please choose this one!
Real story: I wrote at least two pages of a girl going to the doctor, as one of the chapters of my book. For some reason, I didn’t like it, or it just didn’t fit in. Guess what I did? I deleted it from my computer. Now it’s gone! I don’t remember what I wrote at all in those pages. I could’ve used it for another story. Or it might have been an inspiration for a future story–I don’t know.
So please, don’t throw your writing away!
I hope you have learned something helpful today. Thank you for reading!