Matt Witten, author of The Necklace shares his top writing tips for his younger self – What We Know!

Matt Witten

Once I was 32 years previous, my spouse was pregnant with our first son. We have been extremely impecunious on the time. I.e., we have been lifeless broke. So I made a decision I might write up a screenplay concept that I believed could be extremely industrial known as The President’s Daughter. The one drawback was, I wasn’t into it. What I actually needed to do was write a one-man play a few homeless man I’d met on the streets of Brooklyn. However how might I make such a alternative? It was loopy! No method would I ever make any cash from a play like that.

Matt Witten

However my spouse instructed me, “Write what you like.” So I did, and the play, Sacred Journey, received produced all around the world. Not solely did it make me some cash, it was additionally most likely essentially the most significant factor, for me, that I’ve ever written. Whereas if I’d written The President’s Daughter, when my coronary heart wasn’t in it, I’m assured it might have been crap and earned me zero {dollars}.

So my first writing tip for my youthful self could be the identical tip my spouse gave me: write what you like.

My second tip could be: choose an excellent life accomplice.

Through the years, I’ve gathered different writing knowledge as properly. I’ve found that bodily train is far more vital within the artistic course of than I spotted. The good crime author Lawrence Block as soon as stated, and I’m paraphrasing, that ninety p.c of individuals’s good concepts have occurred whereas they have been strolling. I imagine that’s true; and I might estimate that the opposite ten p.c occurred whereas they have been swimming or bicycling. (Okay, I admit, individuals get good concepts within the bathe too.)

There are different issues I kind of knew after I was younger, however perceive way more absolutely now, like: character character character. You may have the best plot on this planet, but when individuals don’t care about your hero, they simply received’t care.

Additionally: writing is rewriting. No person ever will get it proper within the first draft. Ever. I want that after I was in my twenties or early thirties, I hadn’t frightened a lot about making my first drafts good.

I’ve additionally realized over the previous twenty years how useful it’s to try to inform your story in a single sentence, and one paragraph. That may actually allow you to make clear, for your self, what the story is that you just’re attempting to inform.

One other technique I take advantage of now’s that earlier than I begin writing a novel, TV pilot, or screenplay, I write up a 5 to ten-page synopsis and share it with a number of trusted associates. That helps me begin off in the fitting path; I’m going down fewer blind alleys than I used to after I was younger.

The one factor I’ve at all times recognized, even after I was youthful, is: be a part of a writing group. Writing could be a lonely enterprise – nevertheless it will also be surprisingly convivial. Discover your peeps!

The Necklace: A Grieving Mom’s Quest for Justice by Matt Witten is out in paperback, priced £8.99, printed by Legend Press