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Arvon Friends Writing Tips and Exercises

Find writing tips and exercises from our Arvon tutors here, to develop your craft and inspire your imagination. Each writing tip comes with a related writing exercise, and a new tip and exercise are added every fortnight.

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Writing Tips

Write the Family

Genre: Poetry

I’m sure most writers are familiar with the writing adage ‘write what you know’, and writing about your own family might seem to fit well with this piece of advice. But in my experience, there is so much mystery in the family – so much you don’t ...

Hannah Lowe

Writing Exercises

It’s All In The Name

Genre: Poetry

Our names – first names, surnames, maiden names, nicknames – carry all kinds of significance and are a great way into writing about the family. Many of us have stories about how we came about our names and how we feel about them. These might be about our f...

Hannah Lowe

Writing Exercises

How changing one thing can change the world

Genre: Fiction & Science Fiction

Change one thing in the technology or science of the present day. It could be the way we communicate, the way we travel, the way we eat, drink or think. It might be something as small as a development in processor technology or as fundamental as a law of physi...

Mark Barrowcliffe

Writing Tips

Developing and explaining new ideas

Genre: Fiction & Science Fiction

1. You don’t have to be entirely original. There are plenty of very good, best-selling stories out there that employ the familiar tropes of SF that have been with us since the real flowering of the genre in the first part of the 20th century. You may decide ...

Mark Barrowcliffe

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

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