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Ebony Reads Writing Tips

Creative Witing Exercises

  1. Make yourself write and test how good you are in writing to demand by getting a friend, husband or children to place six items on a desk or table. Select an item and write a story about it. Try and write for at least thirty minutes. You could be surprised by the result.
  2. Conduct an interview with yourself. Ask questions about your writing style, reading habits and how you approach the business of writing. Do you view it as business? Regardless, is writing something you wish to pursue? The purpose of this exercise is to learn to be self critical about your writing, working practices and habits.
  3. Pick up a domestic telephone book and Yellow Pages or Thomson local. Select (at random) a surname, Christian name and an address from the domestic pages. Turn to the yellow pages and select an occupation. Write about this character or construct a story using the information you have.


  4. Creative Writing tips: five pointers…popular ways to generate ideas

  5. Record information in a notebook or keep a journal. (Who does it? Helon Habila)
  6. Scan newspapers and magazines – local newspapers can be particularly interesting (Who does it? Jackie Kay)
  7. Life experiences/trauma (Who does it? Maya Angelou)
  8. Focus on an item that intrigues you (Who does it? Alice Walker)
  9. History (Who does it? Barbara Chase-Riboud)


  10. Creative writing tips: It’s about what you know

  11. Know what you want to write and why you want to write it. According to statistics from the Booktrust, there are over 100,000 titles published in the United Kingdom.
  12. Research the market so that you know your target audience and comparative works
  13. Read fiction and plenty of it
  14. Write the story because it interests you and not because you’re chasing that bestseller
  15. Exercise discipline and stay committed

Lennie Golding is the Publisher of Virago Press. See her tips on getting published:
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