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Writing Tip

Read

Write

Blue

With VE Day, at the beginning of May, and Memorial Day at the end of May, red, white, and blue are the colours of May. They can guide you in your writing too.

Read… What have you read recently? If you are trying to write, it is wise to read. In the words of Stephen King:”If you do not have enough time to read, you do not have time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” Read within your genre to discover what makes it tick. Read the classics to discover what generates staying power. Read widely and read often. You may write historical fiction, but scifi could still teach you an interesting lesson about successful dialogue. Or, you might write spy thrillers, but reading a romance could help you learn about the principles of nonverbal communication.

Write… Write, even if it’s a paragraph. As soon as you write something, the rest will follow. In the words of Chinese philosophy,”A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.

How does this apply? Write something that’s true. Am I suggesting that you only write nonfiction? Of course not. But, writing and research wisdom have shown that if it is possible to insert truth in your writing, the reader will have the ability to connect better. In the words of Ernest Hemingway:”All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

If you keep things too general or vague, it is more challenging to establish a connection. Yes, they probably never fought in battle in WWII or painted a Renaissance portrait, but they may very well understand the smell of wood smoke on a winter’s day or the crunch of leaves when walking through the forest. And, of course, if you also write historical fiction like I do, your writing will require much truth and research.

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