Writing Tips | The Story Elves - Help with writing, editing, illustrating and designing your own stories

Tips on: all writing & editing tips

Idea drawers and baskets

A tip about how elves gather story ideas and save them in their hats

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Why?

A tip about an easy elven way to put meat on the bones of a story

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Three captains seeking the same goblet

A tip about making a story rich by creating an object that is desired for more than one reason

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Looking into a new year

A tip about new beginnings and great expectations

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Coming Home For Christmas

A tip about the stories that come home with sons, brothers and friends

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A story like a witch would brew

A tip about concocting a scary story the way a witch does

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It is hard

A tip about knowing the truth before we start

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Villains and heroes are all around us

A tip about characters coming from real life

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Read what you do not like to write

A tip about how elves change their reading to change their writing

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Give the character an obstacle

A tip about getting your character stuck (on purpose)

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Love stories and stories with love

A tip about love turning up in a story

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Where to start when you are asked to “Write a page”

A tip about the stories that come with blank pages

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An elven practice for writing whole stories

A tip about taking the mystery out of beginnings, middles and endings

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A story in every day

A tip about becoming a storyteller by telling the story of each day

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The Lobster Quadrille

A tip about adding something new to a scene you love

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Enjoy your OWN stories

A tip about reading your own stories for pure pleasure

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Regularly search for all of the improvements

A tip about carefully tracking ALL of your accomplishments

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Help this way

A tip about banishing Writer’s & Block and looking for new ideas instead

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You are not alone when you write

A tip about keeping the company of characters as you write

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Assume the snails took the keys

A tip about connecting odd things to create a story

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Stand in the shoes of the character

A tip about taking a break as the writer and taking a turn as the character

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How do I find a topic to write about?

A tip about making a story wish list before you begin writing a story

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When you are writing, consider 15 minutes a long time

A tip about “story time” (where 15 minutes is a long time)

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Better ideas come from working on the first idea…

A tip about how one story idea leads to the next

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Many kinds of writing voices

A tip about noticing our best voice

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Have favorites for writing (and guard them carefully)

A tip about creating a good place and collecting just the right tools for writing

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Details

A tip about decorating your writing with details

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The value of being “done”

A tip about making small changes right at the end

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What you never expected to hear about a writing prompt

A tip about choosing to write on subjects we know

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Or… turn yourself into a field mouse and then build the snowman…

A tip about how to make an ordinary writing prompt into something else

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Editor’s tip: Scrape the moss off your tongue!

A tip about how to strip away clutter from your sentences

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The voices you get for free

A tip about discovering your own best writing voice

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Slowing down seconds in a story

A tip about story time as compared to real time

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The revealing of secrets

A tip about writing on the subject you know best: you

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Editor’s tip: Trust and share

A tip about trusting someone else to look deeply at your work

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How do I find what I need to change?

A tip about four specific ways to improve a story

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Page 27

A tip about turning toward The End before your story gets too big

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You won’t want to leave anyone behind

A tip about the bond between writers and characters

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Editor’s tip: Think like an elf

A tip about looking at your writing from the reader’s perspective

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Run to your next idea…

A tip about boosting the brain by moving

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The beaver’s paws

A tip about word magic and how to get it swirling in a story

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See pictures when you write

A tip about the pictures that words (yes, words) create

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Trained fingers to the rescue!

A tip about touch typing—which helps to capture ideas and make stories more readable

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Edit like Joble

A tip about admiring a piece of writing before you look for what might need changing

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Write the whole story

A tip about writing a story just the way you would tell it out loud

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The carrot trick (for the brain )

A tip about getting brains to write, even when they are feeling stubborn

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Editor’s tip: Speak up!

A tip about reading your writing aloud to discover what’s working—and what isn’t

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What to name your characters

A tip about knowing the meaning and history of a name before you select it for your character

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Saving pieces of stories

A tip about squirreling away pieces of stories

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Learning from each story

A tip about seeing stories as places to learn (the first in a series of tips that come from the writing of “The Waking Prince”)

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An invented word, XX

A tip about filling frustrating holes with a temporary word

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The joys of inventing a story

A tip about inventing every joyous detail in a story

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Moving story pieces

A tip about strengthening a story by reordering the story

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Put stories away, to sit in the dark

A tip about putting a story away until you have almost forgotten it

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The imagination muscle

A tip about building a rippling “imagination muscle”

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Describing injured characters

A tip about describing the outside and the inside of an injured character

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Battles:  what are they actually about?

A tip about telling readers what the different sides stand for, before they go into battle

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Bringing a character back to life

A tip about whether a dearly departed character should ever be brought back to life

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The title that tempts, the title that tells the story

A tip about thinking up magnificent titles

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Descriptions are downright delightful for readers

A tip about balancing action sentences with description sentences, so that readers can SEE more

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Copying the masters… word for word

A tip about copying the work of masters to learn what they figured out

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“He tripped.”

A tip about short sentences, how much they matter, and how easy they make writing feel

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What is your main character’s gift?

A tip about giving main characters talents

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Did you remember to wake up the guards?

A tip about waking characters up before The End

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When a story chooses you

A tip about noticing the stories that come right to you

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Stories need sounds

A tip about putting the right sounds into the story

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How big is a detail?

A tip about the enormous value of tiny details

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Accidents welcome

A tip about the good fortune in accidents

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Who was your cat before?

A tip about investigating the past of your own mysterious pet

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The real VIP

A tip about making yourself the most important person in the audience

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Ask an illustrator to imagine your character

A tip about seeing story characters through the eyes of an illustrator

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Dive in with “Once upon a time…”

A tip about a centuries-old way to begin stories

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Read to write!

A tip about learning to write without trying

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See what arrives to empty spaces

A tip about letting empty spaces fill on their own

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Listen to the stories in songs

A tip about the skillful storytelling in songs

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A costume for writing

A tip about getting into character by getting into a costume

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Become a favorite character and begin!

A tip about calling on a favorite character for help

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A sentence that changes the wind

A tip about hearing extraordinary sentences

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When you dislike what you wrote, Chapter I

A tip about the different signals a writer may hear as he works on a story

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When you dislike what you wrote, Chapter II

A tip about about tuning out the second signal

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The Story Elves - Help with writing, editing, illustrating and designing your own stories