Creative Writing, Success, Top Tips

This Creative Writing Life—Four Top Tips For The Newbie…

By Antonio Litterio
Whether you’re writing for your own pleasure or with the aim of getting published, follow these four tips for success…
Read as widely as you can, and write all the time. Take classes, whether ‘real’ or online. Visit your local library to find out about local groups for readers and writers, and check out online sites such as It’s also vital to join groups such as The Romantic Novelists’ Association ( in the UK, or if you’re in the United States, the Romance Writers of America ( They’ll give you lots of help, useful information, and contacts. Follow up every lead, and never miss an opportunity.
Set aside some time for yourself every single day. ideally, this should be writing time, but thinking time is vital too. Remember, write down all your brilliant thoughts the second you get the chance! They get lost so easily in the chaos of everyday life, and once forgotten, you’ll never get them back. Keep a pad and pencil close at hand at all times to make notes when you think of them. It’s so easy to forget to do it later. Like ‘tomorrow’, ‘later’ never comes.
Read your work aloud. It’s amazing what a different perspective this gives you. It’s best to do this when you’re on your own somewhere, whether in the house, or outside in an isolated spot. That way, you can really inject some feeling into your precious words. It’ll help you to polish your manuscript until it shines.
Finally, never give up. If you’ve got a good story to tell, and take the time and trouble to hone your craft, your work will be a credit to you.

What advice would you give to a new author? A copy of my latest release for The Wild Rose Press, Her Royal Risk, will be awarded at random to someone leaving their favourite tip below.
3 Top Tips, Christina Hollis, inspiration, SMART goals, Success, Writing

Three Top Tips For Getting Started…

Power of words by Antonio Litterio/derivative work - InverseHypercube
By Antonio Litterio

…on any project…

THE BIG PICTURE – whatever you want to do, whether it’s write a book, start your own business, make money, learn to cook, or grow your own food, have one specific aim in mind. Then stick to it. Benjamin Franklin is supposed to have said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”. Label a folder (real or virtual) with the name of your project. Gather everything into it-notes, images, charts, infographics, the lot. Once you can find exactly what you’re looking for in seconds, it’ll save a lot of time time when inspiration (or desperation) strikes. 

ZOOM IN – Put a filing system in place the second you start collecting stuff for your project. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Separate files within one on-line folder will be fine. A plastic wallet with dividers will store your so-called “dead-tree derivatives” (that’s paperwork, to you and me). A DL size envelope within this system is perfect for keeping scrappy notes, receipts and parking slips safe. Incidentally, expand that idea to twelve envelopes, each one labelled with a different month, and you’re on the fast track to filing your annual tax return without tears. All you have to do is remember to transfer the relevant receipts from the car, your pockets or purse into the right envelope. But do that as soon as you get them. 
You know why.

FOCUS – Write down your big idea. Seeing it at the top of a blank sheet, or screen, will make it real. It’s smart to set goals, and the acronym S.M.A.R.T (used by George T.Doran, Paul J. Meyer and others) can help you reach that target. There are all sorts of alternative meanings for the initial letters, but they all come down to the same thing in the end. These are the headings I use when I’m planning a new piece of work:

SPECIFIC–this is what you want to achieve. It’s your dream. Spend some time working out exactly what it is you want to do. Be positive, and distill it into one sentence such as “I will write a book.” There’s no room for want here. Think positive.
MANAGEABLE–will you be able to do this in the time you have available, and with the facilities you have? If not, either set the alarm an hour earlier each morning and borrow what you need, or revise your objective–but think carefully before doing that because A is for… 
AMBITIOUS–Go for it! Aim for the stars – if you miss, the moon will break your fall. Find an inspirational quote and post it up where you’ll see it every day. Edmund Burke’s “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing” glares down at me all the time I’m writing.
REALISTIC–Ambition is indispensable, but there are limits. I come from a family of comfortably upholstered women. Much as I’d like to be a size eight, it’s never going to happen. Believe me. That’s why I modified my own aim, from “getting down to 130 pounds” to “following a calorie-controlled healthy eating plan and taking more exercise for one month.” I lost 5lb without ever feeling I was on a diet, so all I need now is the willpower to repeat…and repeat…and repeat…. as necessary!
TIMETABLED–deadlines, like the threat of execution, concentrate the mind wonderfully. Draw up a list of what you need to do, and work out how long it will take. Mark the finish date in every form of diary you have. Tell yourself it’s absolutely non-negotiable. Obviously there will be times when work has to take a back seat because of illness or accident, but personal disasters apart use every carrot-and-stick you can think of to motivate yourself and hit your deadline.

Success, Top Tips, Writing

Writing – 5 Top Tips For Success…

Sandro Botticelli
1. INSPIRATION – This can strike anywhere, at any time so keep a look out for news headlines, listen in to conversations and start some of your own in the search for ideas. Grab any inspiration with both hands, and never let it go. Make sure you’ve always got pencils and notebooks or a WP package to hand, so you can make notes on the spot. Pictures are a brilliant help, so keep your camera phone charged and ready. Posting your snaps on sites like 
pinterest or Tumblr can provoke all sorts of reactions from potential readers, and you can use these to inspire your work.
2. CONVICTION: Whether you’re writing non-fiction or a novel, a short story or saga you’ve got to believe in your work – with a capital B. Making up your mind to put your thoughts down on paper is a big decision. You may or may not be aiming to get published one day, but the more faith you have in your idea, the better your work will be. Spelling and grammar can always be tidied up with redrafts and revisions, but if your writing doesn’t have heart,  it hasn’t got a hope. 
3. ROUTINE: When you start with a blank page or open a new document, there’s a mountain of words between you and your finished article, book or memoir. Just as the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step, the book of 100,000 words begins with an opening word. Make it easy for yourself. Break the long haul down into easy stages. Set aside some time each day to write, and find a place where you won’t be disturbed. It doesn’t matter where it is, when, or how long you can manage. The important things are consistency – make writing a regular, unbreakable habit.  When you’ve had a good session, make a note of what made it so successful. Log the number of words you achieved, and try to beat your total  next time. This is useful for when you get stuck. If you’re on Twitter, investigate the hashtag #1k1hr. Joining others in the quest for words is a great help! However you give yourself a target, it makes sure you get something down. A scribbled first draft can always be improved. A totally blank page will only glower at you when you start your next session. That’s a real buzz-kill.  
4. PROFESSIONALISM: Always write the very best book, article or short story you can. If you’re aiming for publication, get a second opinion from a professional, or join  the New Writers’ Scheme run by the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Take notice of revisions suggested by people you trust – constructive criticism will really help you to up your game. 
Before you make your work public, read it through one last time, with the help of my final suggestion…
5. A GOOD DICTIONARY: The Oxford English Dictionary in all its forms is the most widely recognised here in the UK. This is invaluable – honestly, it is! – but harder to use than you might think. I find spelling really difficult. My brilliant Creative Writing tutor, the poet and critic Paul Groves, picked up on this fault straight away. I was on Dictionary Corner duties in every session after that. It was intended to improve my spelling, but he (and the rest of the students) soon spotted the flaw in his master plan. To look up the correct spelling of a word in any dictionary, you have to know how to spell it. 
I’m still trying to discover how many k’s there are in Fokkkasia…