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Think of your writing like a painting

Top Teacher Tips from Nikki Carlin (Manchester)

Think of writing as a craft, like painting or composing a piece of music. Never be satisfied with the first thing you have written. Every line should be reconsidered and redrafted, several times if needed.

Show, don’t tell. If a character is angry don’t tell the reader, show it to them through their body language and how other characters react to them. If the weather is nice don’t tell the reader, describe the warm sunshine and the blossoming trees instead. This will make for much more interesting and vivid writing.

Avoid lengthy dialogue. It’s very hard to write realistic speech and it can often sound clumsy. A single character narrative is often far more interesting than that one about you and seven of your best mates who all broke into a haunted house…

Read the openings of some of your favourite books. How did the writer grab your attention? What did they describe first? How did they structure their opening sentence? Steal all their ideas!

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