Joanita Wibowo


Creating writing: 3 tips to start

Creating writing: 3 tips to start

Always wanted to write, but had no clue where to begin? It can be daunting to get started and put the first sentence on that blank page. Author and creative writing lecturer Ronnie Scott shared some tips to help you get on track to writing your first novel.

Start where you are

Looking for inspiration? Take notes – the best ideas might just be waiting in plain sight.

Scott advised aspiring writers to carry a notebook and get into the habit of writing down what they see in their surroundings. “It gets you into the habit of thinking, thinking visually, and then translating that into words,” he said.

Apart from improving your writing skills, these notes can also help spark ideas and develop the seed for your future stories.

Allocate time for research

Research is important to provide your story with rich details and authenticity – but it can also distract you from writing the story itself. Scott recommended separating the research stage from the creative parts of the work.

“Allocate yourself an hour of research, for example,” he said.

“Then for the next days of your work, you are absolutely just going to play in the document … you’re going to write down anything that comes into your head.”

Challenge yourself

If you have a great story idea but don’t know how to put it into writing, take on small challenges. For example, you can try creating a 200-word version of the story or allocate an hour to get as many words as possible on the page.

Even if the end result isn’t satisfactory, the exercise could yield new learnings. “You [might] have something bad on the page,” Scott said.

“You can come back to it tomorrow. You can read it critically, you can think, ‘Okay, what was I trying to do here? Why didn’t it work out?’

“You unfortunately have to probably go through a bit of creative discomfort to get yourself to finish something, but once you do that, there are really great things waiting on the other side.”