Supersized tips from Superheroes

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We might not be worthy enough to lift Thor's hammer, but with these tips you'll certainly be on the right path to superhero proportions of greatness. It won't be an overnight transformation,  so remember great writing will take great work. 

Whether you need help with an essay, working on your screenplay or writing the next bestseller, here are some tips to make your writing the best it can be!

1) Research
You're pumped up and ready to go! The coffee is brewed and your pencil is poised, but before you get too carried away... RESEARCH.

If you fancy yourself the next Stephen King or JK Rowling, it's a given that their style of writing will have influenced and inspired you. And that's great! Look at these authors, or authors in the style of genre you want to write, and take notes. How are they successful in creating their characters and worlds? What narrative techniques do they use? Read as much as you can! 

It's fine and completely normal to experiment with your own style by borrowing a few techniques here and there from your favourite authors. Eventually, you'll figure out what works best for you and ta-da! You'll have found your own voice.

2) Fight The Fear 
There will NEVER be the perfect time to start, you can procrastinate all you want. It will get you nowhere. So take a leap of faith, and ready...set...go!

It's intimidating looking at a blank screen or piece of paper. I get it, I really do. Most likely you'll end up hating the first few things you jot down. Make yourself write through the fear and you'll end up on the other side feeling rather proud of yourself. 

Don't start big and assume you'll write your first chapter or epic action scene in one day - that pressure won't help you. Ease into the writing process gently, write a short paragraph or a few sentences. Tweak them, play around with them until you feel the creative juices are flowing.  Your writing will gain momentum and confidence and then sure, GO FOR IT.

3)  Talk it out 
Discuss your ideas with people to make sure it makes sense. 

It's vital to make sure that somebody else can make sense of your writing. I know it will make sense to you - you wrote it, but you need to get out of your head for a minute. A fresh perspective with no previous attachment to your work is the way to go. 

Another reason why talking about it is so important is about language. Do the characters sound the way we do in real life? Is it believable? Or do they sound stiff and awkward? If it's the latter then be mindful of how we talk to each other, observe and make notes.

4) Concentrate
Turn off Facebook and twitter. Put down the phone - Whatsapp and instagramming your lunch can wait!

If you're serious about doing this then the distractions have to go!

If we have to take baby steps then try this first, - for the first hour of your writing, turn off your phone and put it in a  drawer. Don't check emails or social media, put some music on and focus.

5) Begin at the end
You need to have a clear enough picture of what the ending of your story will be. 

Experiment with different scenarios and see what works best. Whichever way you choose to go, it needs to start and finish with a serious BANG! 

No i don't literally mean an explosion, but hey if it works in the story, why not! What i'm referring to is a strong start and ending. Nobody will invest in the story if it has a weak beginning, and will feel cheated if the ending isn't up to scratch. 

Spend time on this, it's important to hook the reader's attention, and if you want to write a sequel, then it's best to leave them wanting more!

Long winded description is not the way to go.

Really think about the language you're using and how best to convey the action. 

Short powerful sentences will keep the reader's attention, but keep it varied. Don't fall into a pattern of using the same style of sentence, it gets boring!

7) Public Eye
If you're a writer then your work will need to be read. 

Once you have a finished piece of writing then be brave and get it out there in a public domain. I know, it's scary but it's an inevitable and crucial part of the process. Look into writing competitions for short stories or poems, or think about starting your own blog and write what you're most passionate about. 

8) Accepting Feedback
The best type of person to ask for feedback from is  a fellow writer or editor.

Failing that, anybody who reads a lot will also be a good person to ask. They will be honest about what does and doesn't work, they know how a narrative is supposed to flow. 

Have faith and really take on board what they say to you. You will not become a great writer if you're blindly stubborn about your own ideas. You are writing for an audience, not just for yourself. Sure if there are certain plot points you know are necessary then keep them, but listen to what your peers tell you. 

More often than not, the feedback is usually right!

If you have any other tips, please leave them in the comments below!

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