Hi everyone! My name is Kali and I am Pownal Street Press’ intern. I have a BA (Honours) in English Literature from Ryerson/Toronto Metropolitan University and I have just completed a Publishing: Books, Magazines, and Electronic graduate certificate. I’ve taken many writing courses during my undergrad and certificate, and so I thought I would share some of the tips that helped improve my writing.
So, I thought we should start at the beginning, with planning. I don’t know about everyone else, but in high school, English teachers drilled it into me to plan out the arguments of my essays. This practice is something I used all throughout my English degree, I always planned out essays. I found it helpful to know where I was going and what I wanted to argue. As a bonus it also helped to know what other paragraphs I’d be writing, so if I got stuck on a different paragraph, I could move on to another and come back to it later.
This kind of planning can be useful in any kind of writing. Even in creative writing, having a plan can be helpful. It can help guide you through writing and even recognize where there might be problems early on. Planning can also ground you and not make you feel like you are writing in outer space with no direction. Even knowing where your story starts and ends is a solid plan to have.
But also, it’s important to remember it’s just a starting point, you are never locked into those coordinates. I’ve often gotten to the 2nd or 3rd argument and gone wait a minute … this isn’t going to work with the rest of my plan. Then I pivot and decide what really has my attention and go with that.
Today’s recommendation is to try making a plan. It doesn’t have to be super intricate, but it might get you thinking about where you are going with the story. Even writing a memoir, it can feel overwhelming to condense your life, so planning can help with that. Planning for writing an instruction manual or course material can also help with ensuring that logistically your material is sound.
- Character is at their desk working
- An incident that is the main character’s breaking point.
- Character is packing up their desk.
When I’m doing creative writing, I use a plan, which can sound anything but creative. However, it has definitely helped to keep grounded. It makes it easier to get started when I know where I’m going. It has also save me time in the long run, as I’ve quickly realized where my story will be tricky to get from one point to another. It also shows you where something logically doesn’t make sense.
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