Useful Points For “Friend” Writers


It was my pleasure to recently take part in a local U3A group for writers via Zoom.

During the session, I talked about what makes a good “Friend” story.

Here are a few of the points raised during the session, pertinent to new and experienced “Friend” writers alike.


How do you find your writing voice?

First off, this implies it’s something that needs to be discovered; something that has possibly lay dormant in your soul for years.

The truth is, your writing voice is already active in you – it’s your personality and thoughts. Writing merely involves imparting these qualities into your characters and plotlines.

Don’t try and mimic other writers. You are unique, so let your personality come to the fore.

If you are a born-romantic, write romance as you see it, or as you hope to see it. If you love crime stories, invent storylines that grip your imagination, and create characters who engage your senses.

Facts in fiction

Factual events regularly appear in our stories, though this is never at the expense of the storytelling. You are still writing fiction, so let real-life events, past or present, serve as the backdrop for the story. That way, the story won’t resemble a history lesson or feature.

The same applies for real people in stories. Are they essential to the plot? If so, they generally take a backseat in terms of character development. They aren’t viewpoint characters, either, making certain no misrepresentation creeps into the writing.

Don’t give up

It’s easy to become despondent as a writer if you are receiving rejection after rejection. But keep trying new story ideas – find a genre you are most comfortable with, and keep practising the craft. It’s about being confident as a writer, happily sharing your thoughts and feelings with the reader. Try different story lengths and styles.

Don’t ever be afraid to write. You don’t need a degree in English Lit to start writing – all you need is your imagination.

For more 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 tip to new writers is “write from your imagination”.