Successful Writing – Tip 1

The principles of Successful Writing

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All successful writing in whatever medium contains three basic elements. For simplicity I call them the three I’s:


The initial idea/concept/story is key to successful writing. Your idea may be of huge significance for you, but is it for others? Is it something that has been covered a zillion times before (boy meets girl, someone finds body, the traumas of breakup/divorce, lifestyle secrets).

All of those are relevant, but if that’s your route then you’ll have to find a unique angle on it (Fifty Shades Of Grey, Inspector Rebus/ Morse/Vera, Tender Is The Night, The Joy Of Sex).

Your idea for a novel/play/screenplay must have ORIGINALITY. Instead of writing yet another historical tale about Queen Elizabeth I, or Hemingway, find a different slant – the story from the point of view of her maid-of-the-bedchamber or his literary agent (think of Wolf Hall, Remains Of The Day).

INDIVIDUALITY – Successful Writing

Don’t try to copy other great writers, or worry about what people say the market wants (which is never the same from one month to the next). Find your own unique story, your own imaginative take on it, your own emotional response to it.

The same goes for your style of writing. Don’t be intimidated into thinking you must have a superb literary technique. You must find your own voice. Modern literature welcomes a myriad different grammatical languages and techniques (much more on that in later blogs).

Almost all big winners break the mould and do something that hasn’t been done before.

INTELLIGENCE – Successful Writing

Intelligence both in ideas and in execution. The ideas you have can ALWAYS be extended and strengthened, and the execution (grammar, punctuation, presentation) must ALWAYS be professional (however free your style as discussed above), or you will lose people from the start.

I will go into all this under many different headings in future blogs. Enough for the first one. Brief, but plenty to think about.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Hi Robin, I am trying to write my first fiction novel. The information here is fantastic but what I am having trouble with (being an absolute novice at this stage) is the idea of how to structure a story? Any insights would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Thanks for the query, Kevin. Huge subject. I will cover in future blogs.

  3. The author of many funny plays – and audiences love them – great writer and certainly words of wisdom that should be followed by all who wish to write

    1. Thanks Tom. Greatly appreciated. And if you like reading thrillers, do take a look at my new book out now. Number Ten (on Amazon)

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