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9 Writing Tips from Neil Gaiman

1.   The world of your story should always feel real to your readers.

2.   Use the following tools to make your characters, setting and scene stronger:

– Give specific and concrete sensory details (Are your details specific enough? Can you make your details sensory?)

– Use familiar alongside the unfamiliar.

– If you are writing about the real world and real technology, avoid technical mistakes at all cost.

– If something doesn’t feel right for you in the world you have created, let your character notice that because most likely it won’t be right for them either.

3.   Pay attention to your character’s behaviour and their responses, which need to be in line with their personality.

4.   The purpose of truth in fiction is to convert emotional truths in such way that is entertaining, helps a reader understand challenging times, makes them think differently about the world; and sometimes it can even change their lives.

5.    Persona is the voice that tells the story and can be any narrative point of view. But it’s not the same as the writer’s voice. You find the persona of the story the same way you develop characters.

6.    As a writer, don’t fear to be yourself.

7.   Your story’s big idea (what the story is about) will evolve over time, so you don’t have to feel pressured to decide on the big idea the moment you start writing.

8.     Your readers will always have a set of expectations based on your story’s genre.

9.    Your character’s needs will always drive your story and wants, which always drives the character’s behaviour and how the character is going to interact with other characters.

 

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