Writing Tips

Woman hands typing in a laptop in a coffee shopSince the completion of my first novel and work progressing on the second book, I’ve reflected on the writing process and what was learned and what advice I would share with someone starting the “Creative Writing Journey.” I’ve categorized my thoughts and tips under several headings with the focus only on writing – not publishing, branding, sales or marketing which are topics for other blogs or articles.


Establish a routine:

  1. Make writing a priority – develop a schedule for writing.
  2. Read as much as possible but don’t waste time reading what you don’t like.
  3. Research – read – write – edit – re-write. REPEAT.

Invest yourself personally:

  1. Write your passion – love the process – take it and yourself seriously.
  2. Learn the trade – attend seminars, join writers groups, subscribe to publications.
  3. Share with others to gain insight, acknowledgement and assistance.
  4. Be critical of your work – own up to your mistakes.
  5. Anticipate down time – and possibly absences from writing – don’t despair.
  6. Treat this as a business. The business of selling yourself (brand) and product.

Writing Fundamentals:

  1. Understand the basics: A story has: A character (the who), that Wants a goalSixTraits
  2. (The what), Is motivated (the why) But, faces an obstacle (the why not).
  3. Establish a working title – even if you change it later.
  4. Craft the opening statement and have an idea how you want to end the story.
  5. Develop compelling characters with depth and dimension.
  6. Break up narrative with properly placed and paced dialogue for reader interest.
  7. Allow characters to unfold their motivations through action and dialogue.
  8. Try not to confuse or bore the reader.

The mechanics of writing:

  1. Prepare for the multi-phase writing process. Draft one – put every random thought down on paper or in the computer. No organizing. No editing. Draft two – locate the best parts. Analyze the materials to see what fits together. Print out the manuscript and be prepared to cut. Draft three – improve the work. Keep only what is vital and essential to the story.
  2. Revisit the beginning once you reach the end – the story may have evolved so much during the writing process the opening line no longer fits the story.
  3. Seek good professional editing.

I welcome your comments or questions and am reachable at: Peggy@peggyhattendorf.com
Author – Son of My Father – A Family Dynasty & Travel Editor hers Magazine

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