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Short and Simple Teacher Tips

Top Teacher Tips from

Kat Howard (Leicestershire)

Write with words that sound simply wonderful when you read them aloud. Words that will dance delicately across the page; words that hiss and spit and slip away; words that frantically and furiously speed things up, and words that slither sentences to a…… stop. The words that sound like music are a writer’s best tool!

Jonny Kay (Newcastle)

1. Make sure you plan a rough idea and come back to your plan regularly;
2. Edit, edit, edit!
3. Write about what you know to get you started and then research what you don’t

Cathy Williams (Kathmandu, Nepal)

1. Keep it brief. The best short stories take place in a short amount of real time. Avoid trying to write about the whole of your lockdown experience. Instead pick one short event to represent the whole experience and just write about that.

2. Show, don’t tell and use specific, concrete details to make your writing feel real. You could describe physical objects around you or your character in unusual ways. Or how about choosing a particular sound that you’re hearing regularly in lockdown to repeat as a motif in your writing?

3. Create a clear voice. We’re all missing other people at the minute, so make your narrator someone who your readers can fee close to. You might like to write in first person as yourself to speak directly to readers. If so, think about making the voice sound like you do in real life. Imagine you’re speaking to a friend or family member and write like that. If you’re using a third person narrator, try an omniscient one. Get inside characters’ heads and try to share their feelings with readers.

Adrian Bethune (Hertfordshire )

1. Sketch out a rough plan of what you want to say and in what order.

2. Just start writing. It’s easier to edit something than nothing!

3. Read your work back and keep you audience in mind – will this be interesting for them?

4. Leave your writing alone for a bit and then edit your work – you’ll see it with fresh eyes.

5. Get some fresh eyes to read it too. Ask someone you trust to read it and give you some honest feedback, then edit again.

Claire Stoneman (Birmingham)

To write well, you have to care about what you’re writing about. And I mean really care. Some of the best writing is personal, honest and raw. And you must read and write every day, even if it’s just a bit. Because great writing comes from reading a lot.

Sarah Baxter (Bristol) 

Writing is a process; perfect pieces don’t just happen instantly. It’s worth taking time to draft, then sleep on it, and then review. It’ll help you to gain perspective and see the impact that your choices have.

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