Alphabetical Writing Thoughts by Allison Symes

Image Credit:  Images created in Book Brush using Pixabay photos.

 A = Always have an Ideal Reader in mind.

B = Books - read widely.

C = Characters must be memorable.

D = Dialogue must be better than speech so limit hesitations.

E = Essential editing. Every writer needs an editor. 


F = Flash Fiction. (Bound to mention it!). It’s great for sharpening your writing.

G = Genre. Knowing where your book fits will help you pitch to a publisher. 

H = Humour must arise from characters and situations.

I = Imagination. Reading widely helps you develop yours.  

J = Judging. Competitions can hone writing skills. Get feedback where possible.


K = Keep to your writing routine, whether you write 100 or 10000 words a day. Regular writing builds up. 

L = Limits - especially word count. It is good to write to tight word counts. For those writing a blurb and synopsis, knowing you can write to a small word count will help. 

M = More than Writers. I love the inspiring posts here.

N = Notebooks. No such thing as enough! Inspiration will strike at inconvenient times (it does) so be ready!

O = Own voice. Writing regularly helped me find mine.  

P = Pens! I can’t imagine writing without a pen in it somewhere. 


Q = Quirky. You like quirky fiction? Good. So do I. Check online markets (and write a collection to submit to the independent presses). 

R = Reading - for reasons mentioned!

S = Stories. What is your character’s story? Intrigue us.

T = Time for editing. Give yourself lots of time. I draft a story, edit it and ensure structure etc works. I rest it, draft something else, return to the first story and that is when I spot pesky typos and grammatical errors. I then send my amended story out! 

U = Underdogs. I love these as characters but they need a purpose. 

V = Very - arrgh! We all have wasted words. If something is very cold, say it is freezing. Saves on the word count (all those instances of very mount up) but, more importantly, freezing is a stronger image.


W = Write first, edit later. Terry Pratchett said the first draft was you telling yourself the story. See writing and editing as two tasks.

X = X-ray vision. If you write fantastical characters, you must show early on they have the capacity or a reader will feel you’ve cheated. 

Y = Your enjoyment of writing. The writing life is a rollercoaster ride so it matters that, mostly, you enjoy it. Be kind to yourself.


Z = Zest. Not as in fruit cakes but zestfulness in your characters. Do they have this? If they do, think about having a “balancing” character. Much as I love Tigger in Winnie the Pooh, what makes that book work for me are all those fab characters with different attributes. If the story was just about Tigger, it would be exhausting reading! We need to bear this in mind for our characters.

Happy writing!  


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