- Keep a diary because you won't remember things otherwise - people soon forget what it's like to be 23 when your 24 etc- memory is very false.
- Every time something funny happens write it down
- Remember the 5 senses because it lifts the prose - what things feel like, what things sound like, what things look like, what they smell like...
- Follow your heart - probably
I am never to be found without my notebook or notes app on my phone. I am always writing down funny things I overhear, see, or that happen to me. See above re diary.
The five senses is a great tip - I'm apt to only describe what something looks like, because usually it's our dominant sense. However, you can really enrich something by including other senses too. However, try not to make it like a shopping list where you have sound, taste, smell, feel, sight, for every. Single. Thing. Only if it's relevant or interesting to the story, should it be included.
I think following your heart is very important. If you're writing something you don't really want to write, it will show in the story. Write the books you'd like to read. Tell the stories (and remember there are only 7 basic plots in total) in your words, with your voice, with your characters. That's what'll make your story unique. Plus, writing for the joy of writing, without an aim of publication, is wonderful, useful, and perfectly acceptable in itself.
What do you make of these tips, do let me know in the comments?
Who was the author of these tips? The fabulous, fun and life loving, Jilly Cooper, of course.
Happy reading and writing!
Liam Livings xx