The writer’s alphabet S-U

A to ZIf you’ve been following my writer’s alphabet so far, you’ll know it’s intended to be a handy catalogue of suggestions for creative writers. It’s not a list of rules (in any case, rules are made to be broken). But it might just give you a jolt when you need it.

Up to now I’ve been playing it safe, telling you all about the craft of writing: parts of speech and dialogue attribution and why you should let your characters live and breathe for themselves. But real creativity requires more than just craft. It needs just a dash of madness. Hold tight – this could get messy.

S is for Superman

As a writer, your job is to observe the strange behaviour of the human beings that surround you and report back on what you’ve seen. For that, you’re going to need x-ray vision. Sometimes you’ll face the deadly Kryptonite that is the form rejection letter. And, when the words are rippling out from your heart to surround you like a magical cape, you’ll understand that you can fly.

T is for Twilight Zone

It’s vital you understand the craft of the writer. Sharpen your spelling and polish your grammar. Make the words work for you. Control that prose. But always remember there’s one place that will always remain outside your control: the strange and hidden realm where the ideas come from in the first place. Rod Serling knew it well. It’s called the Twilight Zone.

U is for Unknown

Every creative project is a voyage into the unknown. When you set out writing, throw away your compass and charts. Unlash the rudder and let the winds take you where they will. Be prepared for storms, shallows, pirates, sea serpents and whirlpools. Set your eye on the horizon and take your reader far beyond it. Be adventurous. Pathfind. Explore.

Tomorrow: V, W & X

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