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Writing for Self Care
Storytelling and writing can be a great way to share your story in a safe space and explore new ideas. Learn how to write stories that speak to others about your truth.
Characters should be three dimensional. Try to make them feel like real people as much as possible, no matter the setting.
Your characters conflicts shouldn't be too outlandish, or none of your readers will be able to connect with them.
When naming a character or a place, try to make it meaningful. Look up words meanings and their histories online.
When building a world, make sure its rules are consistent. If it contradicts itself, you just discovered a plot hole.
Take time to go over what you've written before it's done. Re-reads are crucial (and not just for spelling errors).
Don’t go overboard with powers or dramatic backstories-- don't let their past or abilities overshadow who they are.
All stories evolve. Don’t be afraid to let yours change and grow. Change is a good thing (for people and stories).
If you’re having trouble keeping characters consistent, write a few defining facts for reference.
Have a variety of characters and personalities. Stories (and life) aren't as interesting if everyone is the same.
It’s okay to use archetypes so long as it’s your version and not a rehash of another character you’ve seen elsewhere.
If you’re not sure how to word something, type it out a few times in different ways and see which one you like best.
Take inspiration from the world around you. Be inspired by works you love, but don't steal from them.
Try to avoid distractions when writing. That said, sometimes a distraction can lead to just the inspiration you need.
Spend time doing things other than writing. All sorts of physical activities can get you in the right mood.
Try to listen to music without lyrics. You might just find yourself typing out the lyrics instead of your story.
Drama comes from conflict, but that doesn't have to mean a physical fight. Explore how conflicts can shape your story.
Be sure to keep your pacing consistent. Rushing and dragging things out are equally annoying to readers.
For the sake of every cliché hater out there, don’t kill off the protagonist's parents unless absolutely necessary.
Poetry can be fun too. Even if you don't think of yourself as a poet, let loose and turn your emotions into words!
Constructive criticism should be listened to, but not insults. Don't listen to people who are there to hurt you.
Writing should be a balance between what you want and what your audience will like. Finding that balance is key.
If you're getting stuck on something, take a break and come back to it once you've had some time to relax and cool down.
Sexual orientation and mental health are touchy subjects. Be thoughtful about how you deal with sensitive issues.
Pay attention to your formatting and grammar. How people read your words are as important as which words you choose.
Cut out extra adjectives. While it might seem great to describe everything in detail, you can take it too far.
Racial diversity isn’t necessary, but it’s a nice touch. Try to represent people as they are-- diverse and complex.
Focus on writing first, editing later. If you get caught up in editing, you might never get past page one.
Learn to lampshade the stranger parts of your story. Address them rather than just hoping the reader doesn't notice.
When editing, read your work out loud-- it helps you catch problems in wording that are only clear when spoken aloud.
Mix up sentence length and complexity. They give readers both a sense of achievement and an opportunity to grow.
These tips were originally posted on our Twitter account under the hashtag #mymTips with a different topic each month. Follow us on Twitter to see a new tip each day, or visit the wellness section on our website next month to see the set posted in full.