Is There Merit In Telling And Not Showing?


A Woman Of Steel

Danielle Steel has written 94 novels, 17 children’s books, four works of non-fiction, and a book of poetry. She is published in 43 countries in 69 languages. She has sold 650 million copies of her books. Each one – each one, ladies and gentlemen – has been a bestseller. 

In a 2006 interview, she mentions how she started out writing her books at night, often coping with only four hours of sleep, so that she could be with her children in the day. When I have only four hours’ sleep, followed by a day of alternating yowling and squealing all while I’m being jumped on and am holding a half-eaten banana in my hand … I shudder to think. All that hard work seems to have paid off, though, considering her success. 

The Mantra

In writing circles, we often hear (and repeat) the mantra ‘Show, don’t tell’. There’s a reason that showing is an effective way of storytelling. It uses the senses, characters’ thoughts and emotions, and the immediacy of what is happening in the setting to convey details in a way that makes the reader feel present in and enveloped by the story. 

I read Steel’s book Friends Forever a while ago, and it struck me how she so doesn’t follow this mantra. Her whole book was telling. Even stranger was the fact that I couldn’t put the book down. This made me wonder even more at her success. What makes her writing so popular, when she doesn’t follow the same mantra other bestselling authors do? 

Why, Danielle, Why?

After some thought, I came to the following conclusion. I found her storytelling style to be like sitting at your best friend’s kitchen table, hands wrapped around a mug of tea, having a good chinwag. Her telling style is like discussing mutual friends' predicaments, discussing the latest developments in their life dramas and their reactions to them. I’m not talking about nasty gossip or schadenfreude (pleasure derived from another’s misfortune). It’s more the kind of talk that carries the feeling of mitgefühl (a response of compassion or empathy at someone’s misfortune). 

Her characters are stereotyped, but the stereotyping means we as readers can all shake our heads, together with Danielle, at the alcoholic husband who beats his wife and is hard on his son. We can feel both frustration and understanding for the young, successful woman who throws it all away because her daddy-issues keep sabotaging her, and she constantly falls for older, married men. Danielle is the friend at the kitchen table, and as terrible as it is, we have to hear her tell the latest saga while we fire up the kettle. 

Tea, anyone?

Why do you think Danielle’s books sell so well? Do you know any other authors who do a good job of telling instead of showing?

If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg.

  by Donna Radley

If you enjoyed this post, you will like:

Donna is a creative writer who has tinkered with words for years. She has written newsletters and online articles, translated a book, and edited a variety of documents. She also reviews books. She owned her own training business and now facilitates The Plain Language Programme for Writers Write. She is currently working on her novel, which involves drinking lots of sweet tea. You can view her profile on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.  

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to  news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

Writers Write - Write to communicate

The Nine Best Apps And Tools To Help Writers Boost Productivity

Guest Post

Reaching the ultimate point of productivity is a concern of every writer. Regardless of the efficiency you have at a certain point of your career, you inevitably notice a decline in your motivation and ability to write at one point or another. Among all apps and tools available today, these can help you the most:

Apps That Facilitate A Writer’s Work

  1. Evernote is a tool you’ve probably heard of. If you learn how to use it, it will help you do your work at any time. Consider this app as your idea book, where you jot down ideas and thoughts anywhere. The main difference is in the ease of usage. In addition, the app synchronizes the data with your account in the cloud, so you can access it at any time. Waiting in line won’t make you nervous anymore; simply get your phone and note what inspires you.
  2. As a writer, you must care about grammar and vocabulary. Don’t stop working on your progress. Grammarly is a great tool that will save you from embarrassment. It identifies and corrects up to 10 times more errors than the grammar and spelling feature of your usual word processor.
  3. Grammarly is efficient, but it’s an automated tool. It cannot replace a real editor. PapersGear, on the other hand, is a platform where you can hire a professional editor for an affordable price. The editors from this writing service do a great job without affecting your unique voice. Thanks to this website, you no longer have to spend a fortune on editing services.

Tools That Boost A Writer's Focus

  1. When you have an important project to work on, social media platforms are more alluring than ever. Don’t fall into that trap; use a tool that will block the distracting pages. Anti-Social is an awesome tool that helps Mac users work in a safe online environment, without access to social media like Twitter and Facebook, as well as all other websites they specify.
  2. Now let’s get to the real writing tool: use OmmWriter if you want to be able to ignore every possible distraction you could think of. As soon as you launch OmmWriter, you will be teleported into a focused environment that will make you a more productive writer.
  3. Here is another app that will enable you to focus on the task at hand: TeamViz – a timer that works in accordance with the Pomodoro technique. This method is based on the principle that you’ll work better if you make short, frequent breaks in between writing sessions.

Ultimate Efficiency Boosters for Writers

  1. When you are limited with deadlines, it is extremely important how you manage your time. Try Write or Die 2 – an app that creates a stressful situation for writers. Yes, stress can be a positive thing, especially when it pushes you to write more content in less time. If you don’t meet the goal you set when using this platform, you’ll face some consequences, depending on the mode you choose.
  2. Of course, you also need to type like a maniac if you want to follow the fast progress of your thoughts. 10FastFingers is a tool that will improve your typing skills with awesome games. You can try different typing tests that will show you how accurately and quickly you type.
  3. How about another test for your ego? A little criticism will help you improve serious flaws in your work. AutoCrit is an automated manuscript editing tool that will warn you about excessive use of passive voice and adverbs, as well as repetitive diction.

Now that you are aware of the most efficient apps and tools you need, start experimenting with them and you’ll boost your productivity in no time.      

 by Melinda Osteen - professional blogger and an editor, who features the latest writing trends in her articles, intending to share valuable experience and knowledge with young specialists.

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

Writers Write - Write to communicate

The Writers Write Interview - Janet Fitch

Author: Janet Fitch

People ask me which authors I still want to meet. There aren't many because I've been lucky enough to meet so many of my heroes. But, I gave it some thought and decided to approach Janet Fitch, the author of my favourite book - as a reader and as a writer - of all time, White Oleander. I sent her a message and asked her if she would answer my questionnaire. She was gracious and lovely and said 'yes'. I hope you enjoy her answers as much as I did.

The Writers Write Interview 

Date of Birth: 9 November 1955 (Scorpio, Capricorn rising.)
Date of Interview: 6 May 2015
Place: Los Angeles (via Email)
The BookPaint It Black
1. Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
My favourite characters aren’t necessarily heroic… just ones who I can’t get enough of.  Leopold Bloom. Sabina in Spy in the House of Love. Every character in Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet—the Nessim’s mother. The old sailor, Clea. The whisky priest in The Power and the Glory. The narrator of Duras’ The Lover. Thomas Fowler inThe Quiet American.

2. What is your most treasured possession?
A silver letter opener in a flowing abstract shape I’ve use every day since I bought it as a teenager. 

3. Which living person do you most dislike?
Either of the Koch brothers. 

4. What is your greatest fear?
The loss of the biosphere. It’s such a beautiful, fragile web.  The planet will survive, but life on it, the plants and animals… looking pretty dire.

5. Who or what has been the greatest love of your life?
The life of the imagination. 

6. What is your greatest regret?
Having been so attached to being romantically gloomy and difficult as a young person. I could have had a much sunnier and more fulfilling life early on if I hadn’t been so damned Byronic.

7. If you could choose to be a character in a book, who would it be?
Things end so badly for most of my favourite chararacters… I’d say it would be fun to be Queen Titania in Midsummer Night’s Dream. But that’s not a book… probably Wart (later King Arthur) in The Sword in the Stone.

8. Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

9. What is your favourite journey?
Moving very slowly through Italy, spending days and weeks in places, off-season, drawing and painting.

10. What is your favourite quotation?
Look up—the hawk will not be walking in the road. 

11. Dogs or Cats? Which do you prefer?
I love dogs but I live with a cat. I'm getting used to him, and vice versa.

12. What do you most value in a friend?
No drama.

13. What quality do you most admire in a woman?
Creative energy.

14. Which book that you’ve written is your favourite?
LIke a mother choosing among her children, I like them all for different reasons. I like the one that’s difficult because it’s harder for others to see its merits.  I like the one that’s most approachable because it’s nice to be popular.  I like the one that’s still a baby, because there’s no knowing what it will do in the world.  I like my first one because I waited so long for it to be born. 

15. What are your favourite names?
It so depends on the purpose.  Is this a character name? Then it has to be appropriate, memorable, have connotations for me. A name I’d pick for my own child? I prefer a conventional name, on the long side, spelled conventionally.  (For myself, I might like a name like Sunshine or Rain or Marigold, but for an actual child, I put “Dr.” in front of it, to make sure it’s got enough gravitas to go wherever she or he would want to go.) 

16. What do you do as a hobby?
Read, paint, draw, go to museums. Travel. Dance crazily to a variety of music all by myself. 

17. Which are your three favourite books?

  1. The Alexandria Quartet (four books… oh well.) by Laurence Durrell
  2. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  3. Under The Volcano by Malcolm Lowry
18. Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?
While I'm writing.

19. What is your Writing Routine?
Work every day. Read for an hour, hour and a half. Write until about four. Walk. Read poetry, fiction, watch movies in the evening.

20. What are your Top Writing Tips?

I wrote a blog article about this—“Ten Writing Tips that Can Help Almost Anyone”—check it out!

Visit Janet's website to find out more.

Interviewer: Amanda Patterson (Follow her on Facebook and Pinterest and Google+ and Tumblr and Twitter)

We have started a new interview for guests called The Writers Write Interview. This is based on Amanda Patterson's old format of 17 Questions and Answers for Authors. We've added a few more to make it 20 Questions. We hope you enjoy it.)

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

Writers Write - Write to communicate

July 2015 - In Writing

Course

Description

July

August

Writers Write

How to write a book

6-9

3-6

Writers Write

How to write a book

4,11,18,25

 

The Plain Language Programme

Advanced business writing

21-22

18-19

The Social Brand

How to write for social media

17

20

kids etc.

How to write for children

 

15

Secrets of a Memoirist

How to write a memoir

 

24-27

If you want more details on any of these, please email news@writerswrite.co.za

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

Writers Write - Write to communicate

Wherever I Lay My Hat - How Setting Affects Your Characters


We may all be unique snowflakes, with our own little DNA stamps, shining our brilliance on the world. But that’s only part of it. We are also shaped by when we are born, where we are born, our socio-economic status, and the people who do or do not love us. 

I recently wrote about how you can use setting to advance your plot. In this post, I want to talk about how settings have shaped and continue to shape our characters. 

Five Ways Setting Affects Your Characters 
  1. Certain characters will always be found in certain settings. It is true that people tend to group with others who are most like them. For example, wealthy, snobbish, status-conscious people will populate the tables of a new five-star restaurant. People who need to make money will serve them. 
  2. Settings shape your character. Where people come from shows us how they will act in these settings. For example, if your rich customers in the restaurant were born in a stylish home in the city, they will probably feel at home. If the customers were born in a poverty-stricken neighbourhood and made their money winning the lottery, they will probably feel out of place. As William Faulkner said, ‘The past is never dead. It's not even past.’
  3. Settings can change your character. Being forced out of comfort zones into new places for extended periods of time will probably change your characters. Humans resist change. If you shift the boundaries, your character has to act, react and adapt. Petronella Oortman is completely out of her depth in The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. It is 1686 and the country girl arrives to become mistress of a luxurious home in bustling Amsterdam. She has to change to survive.
  4. Settings can set your character apart. Characters who come from an unusual place will always be perceived as different, whether they are different or not. A person who grew up on an island without access to the Internet will be different when he or she sets foot in the city. A city slicker will be viewed as odd by the island inhabitants. Dr Joel Fleischman, a New Yorker is the outsider when he arrives in Cicely, Alaska in the TV series Northern Exposure.
  5. Setting as a character. Sometimes a city or a house or a room can be so integral to a story that it becomes as real as any of the characters. Ian Rankin uses Edinburgh to menace, to hinder and to help the characters in his Rebus series. Emma Donoghue uses the room in Room as the place that both protects and imprisons Jack and his mother. 
Never underestimate the way in which you can define your characters by the places they have been and where they end up. 

If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg. 

 by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on PinterestFacebook,  Google+,  Tumblr  and Twitter. 

If you enjoyed this post, read:

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

Writers Write - Write to communicate

Down The Line – Three Ways To Use Inverted Dialogue In Your Story

Often in a book or screenplay, you’ll find a line or two of dialogue from early on in the story that’s repeated by the same character —or a different character— near the end of the story. Sometimes it’s a phrase used throughout the story. But the dialogue now has a changed or different meaning for the character or the audience. This is inverted dialogue.

Expressing truth. This line of dialogue often contains the essence of the theme of a story. Theme, as always, is an expression of truth, even if it’s a truth unobtrusively hidden in the words the characters say.

Let’s look at three basic scenarios to see how you could use this line to great effect in your story.

1. No laughing matter
Davy, a struggling, sexy young stand-up comedian, always practises his routine on his girlfriend, Kristi. She’s his best critic and supporter and will tell him when a joke is flat, ‘I’ve heard funnier, Dee.’
When Davy becomes famous and has his own hit TV show, he starts to sleep with his busty agent and every groupie. Kristi eventually has enough and is packing to leave. Frightened that he’ll lose her, Davy tells her he loves her. She looks at him and says, ‘I’ve heard funnier, David.’ And walks out for good.
Kristi’s line reminds us that she’s heard all his lines and her pain is no laughing matter.
2. Turning the tables
Jack, a spy training a new recruit called Kyle, teaches him the basics of counter-intelligence and social engineering: ‘Never underestimate how stupid or how helpful people can be.’
At the tense climax, Kyle has turned into a double agent and has betrayed his mentor. As he holds a gun to Jack’s head, he reminds him: ‘Never underestimate how stupid or helpful people can be, right Jack?’
Jack’s words have been turned on him.
3. Trapped in a stasis
Miriam, a downtrodden young woman, longs for freedom from her controlling invalid mother, but is too scared to seek her independence.  When her mother taunts her to leave the house, Miriam says: ‘It’s really not a great day out. Why don’t I make us some tea?’
After her mother dies, a social worker asks Miriam to come down to a bingo evening at the community centre. Miriam hesitates —there’s nothing to keep her in the house anymore — but smiles at the social worker and says: ‘It’s not really a great day out. Why don’t I make us some tea?’
Miriam’s favourite excuse at the end reminds us that she’ll always be trapped by her fear.

Try to find the line of truth in your story that resonates with your theme and see if you can use it as inverted dialogue — it really can pack an emotional punch.

If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg. 

       by Anthony Ehlers

      If you enjoyed this post, read:

      Anthony Ehlers is a reluctant blogger. A child of the 70s, he’s a late converter to the (sometimes scary) world of social media. As a creative writing facilitator, he loves sharing ideas around storytelling and the blog post is another way to reach out to fellow writers no matter their stage of the journey. He always encourages delegates with energy, humour and his insights into novels, short stories and scriptwriting. He sometimes lurks on Facebook and flits on to a branch of Twitter  when his Inbox is empty (which isn’t a lot these days).

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      Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

      Writers Write - Write to communicate

      Three Lines That Will Help You Write A Better First Draft


      Recently, I discussed the six questions you should try to answer before you start your first draft. This week I want to discuss question two - tell your story in three lines. 

      It is a great test for your story idea. Whether you call it a ‘pitch slam’ or an ‘elevator pitch’ this forces you to consider your whole story. Try writing it as if you were finished with the manuscript. This is something you will rewrite several times, but try to write one before you start.

      It does not matter if you want to self-publish or never publish, this exercise will help you. It is hard, don’t expect it to be anything else and remember it will change. I just want to get you going.    

      Just as you would approach an agent or editor you should try to wrap up your idea in a paragraph. Here are some points you can consider:
      1. You need a title. Write your working title in big letters at the top of the page. You can even make a mock-up of your cover. It’s inspirational.
      2. Who, what and why? You need a character, start with them and the inciting moment. The inciting moment gives you a goal and that conflict will give you an antagonist.
      3. When, where and how? If you are writing sci-fi or historical fiction, this question becomes even more important, but you should pick a moment in time and then tell me how all of this is going to happen.
      Consider this:
      [Character’s name] + [inciting moment] + [story goal] leads to [intriguing question]
      For example: Paint It Black by Janet Fitch

      Josie’s boyfriend commits suicide. She wants to find out why, but that means dealing with his crazy controlling mother. Should Josie let herself be lured into a life of riches by the woman who destroyed the man she loved?

      In short ask yourself, who wants to do what and why? Then print it out, stick it to your wall and when in doubt go back and ask yourself if you are answering the question. 

      If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg.

       by Mia Botha

      If you enjoyed this post, you will love:

      1. Identify Your Protagonist And Antagonist
      2. Six Questions To Ask Before You Even Start Your First Draft
      3. How To Turn Your Messy First Draft Into Something That Resembles A Novel

      Mia Botha facilitates for Writers Write. She is also a novelist, a ghost writer, and the winner of the Mills&Boon Voice of Africa Competition. When she isn’t writing, she is the mother of two children and the wife of a very lucky man. Follow Mia on Pinterest  and Facebook and  Tumblr  and  Twitter.

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        Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

        Writers Write - Write to communicate

        Three Nagging Grammar Questions Answered


        1. Capitalising the name of a degree

        Have you ever wondered when to capitalise the name of an academic degree? Here are two guidelines:

        a.) For general usage, don’t capitalise the degree. 

        Example: She received her bachelor’s degree in English. 
        The words ‘bachelor’s degree’ aren’t capitalised. ‘English’ is capitalised, because it’s a proper noun – the name of a language.

        b) When:
        • abbreviating a degree,
        • writing the formal name of a degree,
        • or when the name of the degree is part of a person’s official title, capitalise it. 
        Example 1: I’m starting my BCom next year. 
        Example 2: Her degree in Bachelor of Arts Visual Studies was well deserved.
        Example 3: Our guest speaker for the Legal-Eyes conference is Dr Bryan Vernum, PhD Procedural Law.

        2. Do you use ‘shall’ or ‘will’? 

        Whenever I say ‘I will’ instead of ‘I shall’, I get a nervous tic, probably instilled in me by my high school English teacher. In an attempt to put my nagging grammar guilt to rest once and for all, I looked at what Oxford Dictionaries has to say about the matter:

        ‘The traditional rule in standard British English is that shall is used with first person pronouns (i.e. I and we) to form the future tense, while will is used with second and third person forms (i.e. you, he, she, it, they). For example:
        • I shall be late.
        • They will not have enough food.
        However, when it comes to expressing a strong determination to do something, the roles are reversed: will is used with the first person, and shall with the second and third. For example:
        • I will not tolerate such behaviour.
        • You shall go to the ball!
        In practice, though, the two words are used more or less interchangeably, and this is now an acceptable part of standard British and US English.’

        3. Do you use double or single quotation marks/inverted commas?

        Single quotation marks look like ‘this’. Double quotation marks look like “this”. There is no rule that dictates whether you should use single or double quotation marks. However, British English tends to favour single quotation marks (‘x’), while US English tends to favour double quotation marks (“x”). There are two rules you’ll need to observe, though:

        a.) Whatever you use, use it consistently throughout your writing. 

        b.) When you enclose a separate quotation inside your quoted speech, use the opposite style to what you’ve already used. 
        • Alex said, ‘I believe that “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”, to quote Martin Luther King.’
        • Magdalene said, “C.S. Lewis wrote, ‘Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point,’ and I think he lived a life that proved this.”
        Good luck!  

        If you want to improve your business writing, join us for The Plain Language Programme.

         by Donna Radley

        If you enjoyed this post, you will like:

        Donna is a creative writer who has tinkered with words for years. She has written newsletters and online articles, translated a book, and edited a variety of documents. She also reviews books. She owned her own training business and now facilitates The Plain Language Programme for Writers Write. She is currently working on her novel, which involves drinking lots of sweet tea. You can view her profile on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.  

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        Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to  news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

        Writers Write - Write to communicate

        30 Inspiring Blog Post Ideas For Writers


        Do you have blogger’s block?


        Even creative people get stuck when they’re trying to come up with ideas for a blog post. I thought I would put together a list of possible topics to inspire you. These are based on some of our blog posts at Writers Write and others I’ve enjoyed reading on the Internet. 

        Whether you blog daily, three times a week, or once a week, I hope that one of these are just what you need to break your blogger’s block.

        30 Blog Post Ideas For Writers 
        1. Who has influenced you as a writer? You can turn this into a collection of quotes from this author, you could write to them (if they are still alive) and ask for an interview, or you could write a post on the 10 things you’ve learnt from them.
        2. Publishing snippets. Write about something that is happening in the publishing industry that interests you. What do you think of traditional publishing? Self-publishing? Do you have any brilliant ideas for promoting books?
        3. Places you've been. Have you been somewhere interesting recently? If you have, what did you learn while you were there? Can you think of a way to turn this into a writing lesson? Or you could write a piece on the experience itself. Make sure that you include photographs.
        4. How do you create characters? Perhaps you could blog about where your ideas come from. Are they based on people you know? Do you use character questionnaires?
        5. When you were little. Write a post on your five favourite books when you were a child or a teenager.
        6. Competitions. If you have a large enough following, you could create a monthly poetry competition. You could give away a gift card for books or one of your own books.
        7. The books you love the most. Write a post on your favourite books on writing. Briefly tell us why you love them so much.
        8. Ideas. Where did you get the idea for the book you’re currently writing? Tell your followers how the idea turned into a plot filled with characters.
        9. Your life as a writer. Write about your children and your pets. Write about what it’s like to be a writer with two small children or three teenagers or five grandchildren.
        10. The best advice. What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received? Tell us why you think it’s so valuable.
        11. Guest bloggers. Ask other writers to guest blog for you. If you admire someone’s blog, ask them if you can write for them. Once you build a relationship, they may offer to write for you – or you could ask.
        12. On the big screen. Have you seen any good, or bad, films recently? This could be great for a post on why you think the story worked and why it didn’t. What did you learn? You could add something about scriptwriting if you’re interested in those techniques.
        13. Every three months. Post quarterly blogs of your favourite books for Summer, Spring, Winter and Autumn. Include book reviews of your favourites.
        14. Review of the week. You can write a book review on a certain day of every week. You could include a fact about the author and a quote from the book.
        15. Infographics. Look for interesting Infographics on writing. You can usually post these on your blog as long as you link it back to the source. Add your own brief introduction about why it is interesting to you.
        16. Prompts. Create a list of 30 writing prompts. Challenge your followers to do one every day for a month.
        17. Your routine. Write about your writing routine. Tell your followers where you write and what time you like to write. Include daily word counts – if you stick to them. Do you drink tea or coffee when you write? Does your cat distract you? What do you wear when you write? Do you procrastinate?
        18. Plotter or Pantster? Write about your writing methods. Do you outline? Do you use any special tools? Tell your followers why this works for you.
        19. In my life. Has something unusual or noteworthy happened in your life recently? Maybe you were stranded somewhere? Did you bump into an old friend you haven’t seen in years? Are you renovating your house? Do you finally have your own writing space? Write about the experience.
        20. That one book. Write about the book that inspired you to want to be a writer.
        21. Research. How do you do your research for a book? If you have any tips for other writers, share them here.
        22. What you know. Do you have any advice for other writers? You can break this into blogs about plotting, characterisation, dialogue, revising, etc. It is best to write about what you have learnt from writing.
        23. Bookish stuff. Write a post on your favourite literary gifts – perhaps create a wish-list of the five literary accessories you would like to own. This could include things like Jane Austen Teas, a book tote, and tights inspired by literature.
        24. Holidays. Use holidays and special days as inspiration for a post. You could write about mothers in literature on Mother’s Day and literary fathers on Father’s Day. Write a post on your five favourite Christmas-themed books.
        25. Heroes and Villains. Write a blog on your five favourite heroes or heroines and why you like them. Do the same for your favourite villains and anti-heroes.
        26. On the small screen. Write about a new television show that everyone is talking about. Perhaps you want to comment on why it works so well or on how writers could use the characters as inspiration for their own writing. Maybe you could use a favourite television show as the basis for a blog about social media.
        27. Coffee corner. If you like going to coffee shops, post photographs on your blog about books that you read when you’re there. Do you write in coffee shops? Tell your followers about it. Or write about literary coffee-lovers.
        28. What you've learnt. Write about writing conferences or classes you have attended. Do you belong to a writing group or a critique group? What are the pros and cons? Include photographs of these events if possible.
        29. How do you live a creative life? Write about things you do to stay inspired. Do you enjoy nature, art, exercise, photography? Write about how they help you become a better writer.
        30. Bucket list. Create a writing bucket list. What do you still want to achieve as an author? You could also add thought and ideas on how you plan to achieve these.

        If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg. If you want to learn how to blog, join us for  The Social Brand, our social media workshop.

         by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on PinterestFacebook,  Google+,  Tumblr  and Twitter. 

        If you enjoyed this post, read:

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        Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

        Writers Write - Write to communicate

        Short Story Day Africa - 21 June

        When Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, addressed the TED Conference in 2009, she spoke of the danger of the single story, a distorted, one-dimensional view of Africa that sees the continent only through a prism of war, disease, poverty, starvation and corruption. 

        Short Story Day Africa has established a day, 21st June – the shortest day of the year – on which to celebrate the diversity of Africa’s voices and tell you who we really are; what we love; love to eat, read, write about. We want to bring you the scents on our street corners, the gossip from our neighbours, let you listen to strains of the music we dance to.

        Short Story Day Africa brings together writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, teachers and school children from all over the globe to write, submit, read, workshop and discuss stories – and foster the love of reading and writing African fiction. Because we have something to tell the world. About us. In our own voices.

        Read our post to celebrate this day: Five Kick-Starts For Your New Short Story. Join our short story course,  Short Cuts.

        If you enjoyed this post, read:

        1. The Secret to Writing a Great Short Story
        2. Five 10-Minute Fixes for Your Short Story
        3. The Top 20 Literary Quotes About Short Stories
        4. Finding Inspiration for a Short Story - Three writers who inspire me
        5. How to outline a short story for beginners

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          Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

          Writers Write - Write to communicate