Good habits for a writer to get into
· Write every morning at a certain hour of the day; whether it is at five in the morning before you leave for work or last thing at night.
· Pick a good spot in the house to write. A good spot for writing can be that cozy corner in the living room whether the sun comes in, or parked in your car along the beach front where you can record the events of the day or make notes of the ideas that have come to you during the day.
· Don’t force your writing. Look around you. What do you see? Seagulls? A stormy sea? Two office workers standing under an umbrella? One gets ideas throughout the day. Maybe you see a bag lady or an old man or woman or a child doing something interesting that fits with the character you have in mind for one of your stories.
· Read regularly. Reading other people’s books always gives you ideas and inspires confidence. Make notes of anything you find interesting.
· Create memorable characters by suspending the left brain from interfering with your creative activity. How you do this is by writing the name of the character in the centre of the page and writing down whatever comes into your head about that character. Don’t let the left brain interfere; just write what pops into your head, don’t question it. The right brain is the creative energy; the left brain is the critic. You need the critic when you are ready to edit, but not during the creative process. You will be surprised to see the thoughts and ideas and words flowing out of you. You can use this method to come up with names or the character’s traits and behavior or anything at all.
· Come up with descriptive words for your main character by googling your brain and coming up with Carmen’s traits using the method above. Is Carmen saucy, frigid, highly-strung or calm and collected? Let us see it. Let us hear the swish of her taffeta dress and smell her perform as she turns a corner. Flesh out your characters and make them interesting. Flesh out your plot. Flesh out a beginning, a middle and an end.
· Make copious notes of your ideas and keep a character bible. Collect characters. Develop them. Keep everything in a folder. A character will jump out and you and you will put the first words on a page. Whatever you do, no matter how silly it sounds, keep writing, and always test what you have written by reading it aloud. You will hear if the rhythm is off. An editor does not only edit with the eyes; also the ear.