Each tutorial is followed by an exercise which should help you free the writer in you - or perhaps solve a writing issue you may currently have.
They will cover topics like Getting Started, Writing Dialogue, Show don't tell, Building believable characters, Narrative drive, Writing feature articles, film scripts, etc.
There is no time like the present. We could talk endlessly about the writing process, but there is only one way to learn how it’s done. Just do it!
A good place to start is with yourself. Write a short anecdote about your childhood. It can be a happy incident, or a sad one. It doesn’t matter. The reason this is a good place to start is that you will be drawing on something you know, but it is far enough away from your present life for you to imbue it with some sort of reflection and colour.
Write the piece all in one session. Then go back the next day and edit it. Take out repetitions and change clumsy phrasing. Add to it. Leave it for a day or two, then go back and edit again. Repeat this process until you are satisfied with the result. The secret of good writing is rewriting, so don’t stint on the drafts.
By the same token you do have to know when to let it go; when to move onto the next project. This first effort might not be perfect, but it should be as good as you think you can get it at this stage.
Writers wear two hats – the creator’s and the editor’s. Do not wear them both at the same time. Write the first draft unencumbered by your internal editor. Let the words fall onto the page whether they seem exactly right or not. Your editor will have his/her turn later.
When you are ready begin work on your next project:
Step 1 Decide what you want to write. This may not necessarily be the genre you will work in as a writer forever more, but it will be a beginning. There are many choices – and choices within those choices, but I will generalise for now:
• short story
• family history
• children’s story
You learn to write by writing, so it doesn’t really matter what you choose at this point. It will all be good practice.
Step 2 Write the first sentence, or line.
Step 3 Write the second sentence, then the next and the next until you have written as much as you can for one session. Do not edit anything. Just let it happen. Trust the process.
Step 4 Set the writing aside overnight.
Step 5 Go back to it the next day and edit it as you did for your childhood anecdote.
Step 6 When you are reasonably satisfied with it, move on to the next thing. Always let it rest a while before doing further edits and/or sending it off somewhere. If you are writing a novel or a longer work don’t get bogged down in the first chapter. Get it to a reasonably satisfactory stage then move on to the next chapter. Otherwise you will be endlessly trying to perfect Chapter One and never move forward.
You are on your way!