26 Writer’s Tips No Matter What You Write

Allow a new idea to weave itself into your work.

Be professional and open to feedback.

Create endearing, human characters.

Don’t forget what it’s like to be a kid.

Essential truth—no story sells without one.

First chapters are about the protagonist and set up the trajectory of the book.

Great first line! Great first paragraph! Great first page!

Hone your craft: attend workshops, take classes, never stop learning. No matter how good you get, you can always be better.

Invent a story premise that is not commonplace. (Note: premise is not theme. Themes are universal.)

writer's tips

Justice does not always prevail. This is OK and reflects reality. Your characters will grow.

Know what makes your characters tick: their dreams, hopes, fears, desires, nightmares, etc.

Listen to people; understand their complexity.

Make every word count. Your reader’s time is valuable.

Never overuse explanations or define every detail.

Open yourself to growth and change along with your characters. Experience the story with them.

Put something of yourself into your characters. Be emotionally involved. Otherwise, why write the story?

Qualities in your characters—make them larger than life.

Research your setting.

writer's tips

Stink. Yes, tell us whatever stinks about your main character—even the parts you don’t want to tell.

Tell funny, major truths in simple ways.

Unforgettable characters.

Vocabulary should match the voice of each character.

Words/events evoke images.

X-country—take your readers cross country (literally or figuratively).

Yin and yang: provide balance for your readers. If there is a lot of action, give them a breather.

Zany works. Give one character in your story a zany personality, quirk, prop, etc.


Have a writer’s tip to share? We’re looking for tips for our next edition.

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Nikki Corbett Precise Be Smarter NowNikki Corbett is owner of Precise and
Be Smarter Now, wordsmith, writer,
editor, poet, and mom. She developed
a love of writing and the English language
early in life and has been writing stories
since she could pick up a pencil. She
holds degrees in Communications/
Journalism as well as Creative
Writing and Business Administration.
@ncwritermom @ncpoetess

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