The Six Principles of Writing in Wimpole Street Writers’ Groups

These basic things are absolutely true:

  1. We are designed to be writers. When you think you cannot write, turn on music you love. Sit down. Pick up a pen or a pencil. Our brains are the trail to our hands. You’ll feel the action, the right rhythm for each word, each sentence in your hands. You will write.
  1. When you cannot find a character, write the character a letter, and the character will answer you.
  1. When you don’t know what to write next, look around your desk. Start describing some object. Your imagination will reference that paperweight, picture or old pile of Post-its to some scene and a story will come.
  1. When you’re wrestling with a plot, write your questions about motives, plot, emotions in the journal by your bed. This is a dream journal. You will wake up from a dream with the answers. Write the dream down fast. You’ll be surprised. This works.
  1. Place your characters in a scene. Like an architect’s blueprint: know how far they are from the windows; does the sun catch the side of her face? Can he see that old Jaguar rumble into the driveway? Know where the chairs are in the room; the pictures, which reminds someone of a lost moment. For a tense party scene draw a map of where everyone is. And always say what they are eating.
  1. Show us your character’s expressions, gestures, faces, hands. How clothes fit and move; tell us how the people, the room, the garden and the canyon smell and sound.