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Entertain Your Reader

WRITE YOUR FIRST DRAFT WITHOUT THOUGHT, just allow the creative spirit to produce your magic. Then go through it with your editorial hat on, and revise to include the following points.

Have characters, will travel

You have an idea where your story is going, but no clear destination; it just develops as your characters take over. Look then at the ending and how they arrived there. Perhaps you set the reader up for one sort of story, then handed out something quite different. You will probably need to scrap the opening and rewrite it from an entirely different perspective.

Aim for clarity

Use simple words and easily assimilated sentences. Your writing should be direct and honest. Otherwise you sound as if you’re trying too hard to sound clever, and only frustrate the reader.

The reader is not stupid

Trust the reader to be able to fill in small details. Give enough information to develop your characters and to move the story forward, but don’t try to describe everything, or report every movement.

The reader is not psychic

Be specific. Although readers can be trusted to fill in small parts of the picture, they can’t make the big leap into your mind. Details that are relevant and interesting must be included if what is in your head is to appear as a vivid scene on your page.

Entertain the reader

This holds true for non-fiction as much as for fiction.


Show your work to someone prepared to be brutal. Ask them to mark on the page places where interest drops, confusion arises, or other problems they perceive.


Look at others’ work to see how you could have done it, could have kept the reader’s interest better. If you are thoroughly entertained by it, see how the author has achieved this.

— Stephen Gritton

WD’s New Front Page


As you can see Writers’ Dock now sports a new front page.

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Love ya!

— Stephen Gritton

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