Story Writing Tips From The “Friend”


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I give our a lot of writing tips her on our website.

And that’s because, to me, reading and writing are two of the greatest pleasures in life. They involve the imagination, and the written word has the power to touch hearts and minds.

In relation to fiction, I often cite the phrase “the gift of storytelling”.

But what happens if you are struggling with your writing? Maybe the desire is still there, but the writing feels laboured or ineffectual?

Here are some tips which might help kick-start your next “Friend” story.

Ignite the spark

You must find the creative spark to ignite your imagination.

It could be a line of conversation you overhear, a painting or a dream. Anything interesting enough can be the catalyst to your story.

Don’t give up

It’s not uncommon for new writers to be unsuccessful with their first few attempts.

It can even take over a dozen attempts before a writer “cracks” the “Friend” market.

I know of writers who have said to me, “I’m not giving up. I want to write for you.”

I love that tenacity.

What’s your story about?

Can you summarise your story in a sentence or two? It’s harder than you think.

But knowing what your story is about will help you before a single word is typed.

Know who your main character is, give her/him a story purpose, throw in an obstacle or two, and you have the basis of your story.

Start off small

Our short stories vary in length, from 1000 words to 4000.

You don’t have to write the longer ranges at first. Start off small; get your confidence up.

The 1200 and 1800 ranges are good starting points.

Many “Friend” writers have gone from short stories to long reads, and then on to serials.

Some are now writing novels!

Find your voice

You are a unique person. No-one else in the world is like you.

So finding your writing voice is simply writing with your personality etched on the page.

Your feelings, hopes and beliefs — let them come alive through your writing. There is nothing worse than bland writing.

I don’t believe for one minute any person is uninteresting, so bring your personality to the fore through what you write.

For more story writing tips from “The People’s Friend”, click here.

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one aspiring tip to new writers is to “write from your imagination”.