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16 October 2014

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Getting the Story Down on Paper

Getting the Story Down on Paper by Gilly Adams

* Don't sit about looking at a blank sheet. Give yourself a time limit and just write. Don't judge at the beginning.

* Remember that spoken words are only heard once, in contrast to the written word which can be re-examined. Clarity is important. Avoid repetition unless it is deliberate. Find other words. Don't use literary expressions or connecting phrases like "as I mentioned before". They will jar on the ear.

* Find your own voice. Don't imitate. Be aware of how you like to use words and have the confidence to use your own idiom.

* Picture what you are writing about in as much detail as possible - feelings, colours, textures, smells. This will influence how you write.

* You don't have lots of words so plunge in. There's no need to tell the story in a linear way, even though it will require a beginning, middle and end. Find what's most arresting and start there. It may be from any point in your narrative.

* Don't get too attached to the exact facts. Don't let them get in the way of the truth.

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