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Write now and write often: tips for beginners

21 February 2019

Do you harbour ambitions to make creative writing your career? Or perhaps you just want to write for pleasure rather than publication. Everyone has a book inside them, or so the saying goes, and fiction writing is a superb way to foster artistic expression and to clarify your thinking.

Why do people write fiction? What is the purpose of creative writing? Its value is something that’s difficult to quantify in these data-driven times, but there are several excellent reasons to try your hand at storytelling:

  • Self-expression is good for the soul. Fiction writing is a great outlet: it’s giving expression to your own ideas and preoccupations and is also a wonderful way to inspire and nurture yourself.
  • Storytelling will always be important ­— it’s how we share and understand human experience ­— and its purpose is not only to entertain but also to teach empathy.
  • Many writers enjoy the mental exercise of storytelling. It stimulates the imagination to make something out of nothing — taking an idea that exists only in one’s head and filling the blank page with it.
  • There’s so much personal growth and satisfaction to be gained from finding your creativity and improving and expanding your writing skills. Cultivating a daily writing habit (be it a journal or just 500 words a day) takes focus, discipline and perseverance.

Are you unsure how to start writing? Or are you ready to improve your craft? Ellie Marney’s new book Write Now is the perfect guide to creative writing for beginners. Write Now is a collection of over 90 creative writing prompts and exercises that will get you started and help to hone your writing skills. It will show you how to:

  • plot a story
  • set a scene
  • write effective descriptions
  • write snappy dialogue
  • develop vivid characters
  • write for a range of different genres
  • write from different perspectives (1st, 3rd and even 2nd person).

Perhaps most crucial of all, Write Now will help you break through writer’s block with lots of handy tips for what to do when you get stuck.  ‘We’ve all been there,’ writes Ellie Marney, ‘you’re in the middle of writing a scene or a story, and you start the next sentence and then … you’re stuck. The words aren’t flowing. Nothing is going right. What do you do?’  Marney advises that, ‘persistence is the key. The difference between a professional author and a hobby writer is … professional authors finish what they start. Even if it means ploughing through pages of hard-to-write, clunky words that seem to go in circles, professional authors keep going and push to the other side, and then things start to improve.’

Write Now is an essential aid for new writers that will help you to develop a more rounded writing style. It will accentuate your strengths, while also supporting aspects of your writing that require a little more practise.

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