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Arvon Friends

Become an Arvon Friend from £4 per month

•    Gain online access to exclusive Arvon Tutors writing tips and exercises

•    Get Priority Booking on Arvon Courses one month before public release

•    Receive fortnightly emails with the latest writing resources from Arvon Tutors

•    Know that your Friends payment helps bring young people to Arvon

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Arvon Friends Writing Tips and Exercises

Writing Exercises

Your Character vs Technology

Genre: Fiction & Science Fiction

Write a short scene of up to 1000 words in which your protagonist is interacting with your imagined technology in a problematic way. They might be in a futuristic prison, they might be someone freshly-made unemployed by a technological development, they might ...

Mark Barrowcliffe

Writing Tips

Writing Science Fiction – The New Thing

Genre: Fiction & Science Fiction

1. Remember as you shape your story, that you are writing science fiction. Understand what science fiction is and shape the plot accordingly. Or don’t, but be aware that you’re moving out of the genre. A love story with ray guns is not a SF story. A love s...

Mark Barrowcliffe

Writing Tips

Finish Before The End

Genre: Theatre

I always find that finishing my working day before I’ve ran out of ideas is a great help. Imagine you’re writing your scene/s, you’ve planned and thought what is going to happen, how the scene will start, who will be in it, how it will end, perhaps you...

Ishy Din

Writing Exercises

Bringing Dramatic Action Into A Scene

Genre: Theatre

The purpose of this exercise is to help us bring dramatic action to our scenes. Firstly we should examine what we mean by Dramatic Action? Dramatic Action is the tactics a character is using to achieve his or her goals. There will be the overarching goal of wh...

Ishy Din

Writing Exercises

The Object Exercise

Genre: All

Think of an object or thing that you can’t live without and write it down, not a mobile phone or any electronic device! Then list 12 words that you associate with that object or thing, they can be abstract or descriptive. Now I’d like you to write a rant....

Ishy Din

Writing Tips

Don’t get distracted

Genre:

Somebody once said about writing, “If it’s easy you’re not doing it right”. And because it is so difficult it’s easy to get distracted, here are a couple of little tips to concentrate the mind. If like me your procrastination and displacement activit...

Ishy Din

Writing Exercises

Playing at families

Genre: Poetry

Many years ago I wrote a poem called ‘Playing at Families’ in which I imagined that my parents were tiny dolls that slept in matchboxes. It revealed a lot to me about my relationship with them. The writing of the poem brought me a new thought; this exercis...

Caroline Bird

Writing Tips

Vuja de

Genre: Poetry

‘New experiences’ are often cited as creative fuel but let’s face it, life can be repetitive, most of us sleep in the same bed every night, ride the same trains, see the same people every day, embark upon different versions of the same conversations, so ...

Caroline Bird

Writing Tips

Serious playfulness

Genre: All

Pain, like a tuning fork, sings clearest when held lightly. We all want to write about the significant people/situations/emotions in our lives, and yet we often make the mistake of approaching the significant with significance. We grip the entire tuning fork i...

Caroline Bird

Writing Exercises

Your safety instructions

Genre: All

We’re all familiar with the safety instruction stickers on the side of fire extinguishers, and the haiku-like advice on matchboxes: ‘store in a cool dry place, keep away from children, strike away from body.’ But imagine if you, yourself, came with a lis...

Caroline Bird

Writing Exercises

Flip the Scene

Genre: Comedy, Fiction, Film & TV, Theatre

We’ve all got one in our distant past: the great love that got away because we were too tongue-tied, or clumsy or didn’t even cross the room to engage in conversation. Get it out of your system once and for all by writing the might have been. How should yo...

Patrick Gale

Writing Tips

6 Tips on Writing Queer Fiction

Genre: Fiction, Film & TV, Short Story, Theatre

If you’re describing a same sex relationship or one involving someone who is trans or intersex or in any way non-binary, you will risk confusing your reader if you then pursue a modishly anonymised path. “She couldn’t believe how much she wanted her…...

Patrick Gale


Testimonial Read More

Just to say I've got a huge amount out of the Arvon Friends writing tips sent to me this year - it's been helpful to get new ideas and perspectives from established authors who know what works. I look forward to the emails in my inbox! — Mary Fairman

As a Friend of Arvon and with all my friends from Arvon – I am confident that I will never lose that confidence and motivation to use my voice and achieve that first novel. — Chris Metcalfe, Friend

I became a Friend as I wanted to support the great work Arvon does, having got so much out of my course last year, and also to have the chance to book onto courses earlier. — Mark, Friend

The “Friends” scheme is perfectly-named – it’s how I feel towards Arvon. They’re a friend I’ve turned to at tricky, self-doubting points in my writing life and I know they are there if I need them again for time, space and inspiration. — Julie Mayhew, Friend