The following is a list of tips to create top fiction writing. I will add on and develop further lists as I go along. I hope you find this helping in your writing endeavours.

Top Tips

1) Language

From the start determine your 'style' of writing and dialogue. Your style combinations are called, in writing terms, registers, and your writing piece is developed to give an overall theme for your writing. I think of this as specialised writing that has been created by the writer. Your registers would include genre and purpose, dialogue and so on.

2) Create Character and Plot descriptions.

If you do this first, it will save confusion in the long run. If you have a number of characters in your story, remembering the character traits may get a little too much for the memory bank! Of course they may change, but you can adapt as you go along.

3) Show your story, don't over 'tell'.

If you spend much time 'telling' the reader what is happening, then there is little use for the readers imagination and it can get repetitive. See the example below.

James slammed the door shut and sat down at the table as he continued to argue with his mother. She screamed at him in frustration, until he reluctantly apologised.

The above shows how the author tells the reader about the actions of James. Telling the author is useful if it is to bring a reader up to speed, or to offer an urgent piece of information to trigger a response to the authors text that follows. To dramatise the writing, showing, could offer more emotional connection and plot development by the further use of creative description. Here is an example of showing:

'That door will fall off its hinges before long,' she screamed, 'and you can sit there all you like until ...' 'Fine, I'm sorry,' he said in heavy sarcasm.

4) Subtext

Ensure that your characters have a subtle subtext. Your reader will need to understand the underlying theme of each character and plot. You can achieve this by the show and tell examples, but also by keeping account the character and plot descriptions.

5) Write first, edit later

Don't worry about editing until you have finished. The likely hood is that you will change your story a number of times before you get the finished result, so editing too early could increase your work load!

6) Develop your knowledge

Research the details and write only about what you feel comfortable with. If you are forcing a feeling, emotion, or a character, you either need to do more research or accept that it doesn't work.

7) Don't compare

Don't compare your work to anyone else. If you do, you will lose your individuality. Also, please note that grammatical and writing 'rules' change so frequently, that it is impossible to get it completely right. There is no 'right' way, just guidelines. Technically there are rules, yes, but don't be too hard on yourself. Grammar can be variable in different countries or to certain audiences.

Example - the UK uses 'speech marks like this,' whereas the states tend to use "speech marks like this"

8) Develop a start middle and finish to begin

This will help you gain a direction and focus. Of course things may change as you go along, but some pointers may help to create the skeleton of your story

9) Make it engaging

Forget editing in the beginning. Your sole focus initially is to create an engaging story that develops as it goes along.

10) Don't go overkill with description

Don't give too much away. The reader has to have some amount of story to imagine! Keep it simple, and do not over complicate. Stephen King has been famous for quoting about how he has a habit of over describing and getting lost in the description rather than the story.

I hope this helps any aspiring writers. I will be sure to share more as I go along.

About me - I'm Sarah, I am self-published author, copywriter and colour therapist. I am also in my final studies of a creative writing & philosophy BA

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10 ways to get your creative writing groove on.

  1. Go random - If you are struggling to get so much as a starting point, then this may be a good start. In a tub, write a list of genres. Pick one out. Then write a list of places, pick one out. Then characters...and so fourth until you get something as a starting point!

  2. Watch some movies/read books/listen to the radio - Get some ideas. I don't mean plagiarise ...obvs! I mean just try and gain some ideas by just watching, reading and listening. The more you absorb, the more your imagination will start to kick in.

  3. Go people watching - Find a busy place, watch people's interactions and eavesdrop on conversations but be careful not to look like a stalker!

  4. Ask a friend for a prompt - Get a friend to give you an idea for a story. Just one line will do. Something like, the relationship myth, or the blue cardigan - There you go I just gave you two!

  5. Visit your favourite place -Visiting a place that you would like to see in your story will unfold lots of creative writing. Book some time off and go visit!

  6. Meditate - Go out for a quiet walk, relax in the bath, or find your favourite spot. Then meditate for at least 20 minutes to clear your mind. Sometimes that's all you need to trigger the imagination.

  7. Make a scrap book - Buy a scrap book and then fill it with texts from magazines. Not full articles, just key text. Every time you need a prompt in the future, you can go back to your scrap book for ideas!

  8. Go back in time - I'm not talking about summoning up a time machine, I'm talking about looking at your history. We all have a past, why not use yours for inspiration? Try digging out some old photo'

  9. Try different scents and colour in your space - Sometimes scents and colour can trigger memories, emotions, dreams and ideas. Try refreshing your work space and add in some scented candles. Yellow is great for the imagination, especially for writers, and do try citrus scents to arouse the creativity!

  10. Turn off technology and grab a dictionary - Turn off any distractions, open a dictionary and use a word as a prompt. Once your creative juices start flowing, you wont be able to stop!

What you waiting for ?

Have a great day!

About me - I'm Sarah, I am self-published author, copywriter and colour therapist. I am also in my final studies of a creative writing & philosophy BA

#fiction #topwritingtips #writing #creativewriting

  • Sarah E Waring

Philosophy of the 'Self' (1) - Do we have a soul?

The idea of this blog series is to look at different topical discussions that have fascinated philosophers since Ancient Greece.

Ancient Philosopher, Socrates, killed himself back in 399 BC because he did not want to give into the law by keeping his philosophical thoughts to himself, and I will use him as an example of philosophy.

Recap on Socrates

Socrates was an ancient Greek Philosopher, very eccentric and not very polished but quite the influencer for his time. He never wrote anything down but was quite vocal, and articulate. It was down to his fellow students to note and write about his thoughts and experiences, including the likes of Plato and Aristotle.

I chose Socrates as an example of philosophy because he was a mouthpiece and famous for his' free speech' as it were. So much so that he not only accepted his death penalty for impiety, but he accepted the poison given by the authorities and put himself to death by his own hands ... simply because he did not want to keep quiet, and wanted to make the point that it was his choice to say what he wanted and make his own decisions.

I hope you enjoy this first topic and please remember we are here for philosophical debate, so if you would like to join in, please be prepared to argue for and against any theories you may have, without any over opinionated behaviour. We are here to discuss and inform.

What do we mean by self?

So when we look at self there are many different theories of what the self actually is, and how it is made up. It's is important to the question of 'Do we have a soul?' because if we do not know what we are, can we distinguish what a soul is?

So when we talk about Self in this instance, it is up to debate because if the theory of self is conflicted then this may effects the theory of the soul as you will see below.

Ideas of 'self' and the soul

David Hume, an impressive 18th-century empiricist philosopher, believed that there is no such thing as self because we are made up of impressions and ideas (our primary and secondary experiences) The bundle theory, as it is known, is just this. The idea of self does not exist because we are a whole heap of experiences- an illusion. He would argue there is a no soul because their is no self to attach it too.

Sigmund Freud argued that there are dual personalities that make up self, a concept that came from Rene Descartes, who also argued that a non-material soul is needed to explain what physical science could not ( Cottingham 1996) In naming this the ‘thinking self’ as Descartes did, it is plausible to see how a psychological thread of hidden memory could make this continuous self that Hume could not find. This is now linked to what we would view as our psychology. So, in this sense, you could argue that a soul is our inner self.

Now onto the subject of God, it would be appropriate to discuss John Locke and his theory of an unchanging soul that makes up self. Locke uses the idea of a body being a vessel, a forensic resource that can be numerically rebuilt into a different person, whereas a soul, once inhabiting the body, can carry on living as a non-material substance. (Warburton 2011) This is the stuff that the religious and spiritual person does believe. An entity that is not apart of self, but uses the body as a vessel to act as a way of connecting to the physical self. From a faith point of view, that seems plausible as 'God' speaks through us with our thoughts and actions.

Now ... if we look over the three different theories of self, you may see that there is different evidence for this. Without going into a much deeper discussion of certainty, we can briefly see what your belief systems are based on:

  • Hume - No material evidence

  • Freud/Descartes - Patterns of previous behaviour and experience

  • Locke - Faith

Now we have three subjects to discuss, this gives the matter further thought for consideration.


You can see my first post- Why study philosophy below

About me - I'm Sarah, I am self-published author, copywriter and colour therapist. I am also in my final studies of a creative writing & philosophy BA

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