Writing Tools

The first step to writing is to actually start writing. Do that and you’re well on your way. It sounds easy. I know it isn’t. We find a million ways of procrastinating and doing anything but write. But you must start getting your story down. It doesn’t matter how: on paper, in a notebook, onto a laptop – anything you prefer. Or try drawing a mind map or spidergram of ideas and things you want to tell the reader about.

Once you have these basics, you can start building on them. Work out what works best for you:

– work on one idea at a time

– get notes down for anything you can think of, as you go along

– a combination of both

It’s all about experimenting and finding out what works best for you. Try it. If it doesn’t work, try something else.


If I’m stuck for what to write about, I look at a photo or picture that catches my eye and write about that:

– what’s going on?

– where might it be?

– who’s there?

– who’s missing?

For example, what might you write about the photo below?

If you’re stuck for what to write, why not try writing an adaptation of favourite story or fairytale? Or try to write them from a different perspective? For a short example, check out Mirror, Mirror.

If you’re stuck for something to write about, take a look around you. Describe what is in your favourite room in the place where you live. What’s there? Is everything where it should be? If not, why not? Describe the colours, the textures, the sounds around you. What do these remind you of? Did you choose them yourself, or are they a glimpse into someone else’s taste? Why? How do these things make you feel, and why? What is your favourite thing in the room? Is it an item, a colour, a texture, a material, a smell, a piece of furniture or a piece of jewellery you keep in that room? Or is it the view from the window? Why is it so special to you? What memories are connected with it?

Out of all these things, choose something to write about. For example, about the memories connected to your favourite item from that room. If you choose to try this exercise, try writing as many words as you like, until the piece feels ‘finished’ to you. Then shake it up a little and try writing it in a different tense, or changing the point of view.

The following is something I wrote a few years ago for a writing exercise, for which had to describe my bedroom in 250 words or less.

A Journey Around My Bedroom

Walking into my bedroom, I am confronted by what once was my dressing table. It is covered with jewellery, makeup and other products which have been ousted from their homes. My chest of drawers is in a similar state of disarray.

I look at the curtain rail I tried to fix this morning. The track was changed last week and there’s now a gap every time I close the curtains, which is driving me insane.

Near the window are two chests with wicker drawers. One bears the weight of another storage box. The other heaves under the burden of yet more displaced items: a world map, trousers that no longer fit, photographs and framed pictures. Instead of providing homes for everything on my dressing table, the drawers have become mini filing cabinets for things that belong downstairs.

Stacked up against the chests are more pictures which were once dotted around the whole house, but are now waiting to be shown off and loved again.

One bedroom wall is hugged by a new built-in wardrobe which stands proud as it hides a myriad of paraphernalia from view. Beyond this, hiding in a corner, a new ensuite shower area squeaks clean and sparkles whenever it is kissed by light.

My bed is like a beacon, a haven for love and serenity in the chaos of a house that has been renovated for almost a year and is not as finished as I was told it would be.


If you found this a helpful tool in getting you writing again, why not check out more ideas in the archives on my site? Also, take a look at writer Rosanne Moulding’s ideas for writing: http://rosannemoulding.wordpress.com/