Double for today. Aren’t you lucky.
So, First things first. Reading. Anyone who likes writing likes reading. And, if you don’t, you’re seriously doing something wrong. But, if there’s one thing that readers/writers learn very quickly, it’s that some of the ‘best’ books, new or old, can be damn hard to read. Especially some of the reading list books we get, along with the classic ‘proper’ books. So here’s a quick tip that gets me through some of the harder pieces of apparently brilliant fiction out there: Read what you like, too. A friend of mine got a new book recently. Part of a series. One she’d been waiting for. But she had another book she really needed to read for class. So, use the books you like as a reward system. You’ve just read a chapter of the dullest and most difficult book in the word? Congratulations! You may now read a chapter of that epic you just can’t wait for. As long as you stick to this, you’ll make it.
And now, part two. Random thoughts.
As a writer, you should keep a notebook, or at least a pen, with you at all times. You can’t let that perfect idea that hit you in the supermarket get away, can you? But, sometimes, it’s just the little things that can make a story. The random thoughts that bubble into or heads throughout the day that make us real. Take a moment to write them down and give them to your characters.
For example (and collected from a few people for the purposes of this blog and trying not to let just me look completely insane); ‘I really have to stop getting mad a yoghurt.’ Which sounds mad out of context, but is really just a friend’s annoyance at not being able to get yoghurt without bits, or without strawberry flavour, which she hates.
‘He’s going to arrest me for reckless walking.’ Another friend who’d just walked right into a policeman and really did think he would arrest her.
And, who doesn’t think this one? ‘What if I walk through the security sensors and the alarm goes off?’ That one was me being paranoid walking out of a shop even though I hadn’t stolen anything.
So, reading and writing down the random. Get to it.