Peggy Bechko: Writing Tips From One of TVWriter™’s Favorite Writers

My good friend Larry Brody, head honcho here at TVWriter™ seems to think my input on writing might be a welcome thing – so I’m happy to oblige.

I think as writers we all hear a lot of ‘tips’. How to do this, that and the other. You know, kind of nuts and bolts sort of thing. I also believe writers get a lot of that basic advice everywhere, so I think I’ll take a different direction and use broader strokes. We’re going to skip the grammar, punctuation, spelling thing and hit on other topics. I mean, English is the basic tool of communication. I hope you’ve learned it. If you haven’t, then do it. Lots of classes and information online and at local community colleges. Enough said on that subject.

So what am I going to talk about here in the way of tips?

1. A writer writes. Sounds simple? It is. It’s also hard. But the fact of the matter is, if you’re a writer you’ll be writing…a lot. I don’t care what kind of a writer you are. This is one size fits all. So don’t talk about it. Do it.

2. Don’t be afraid to shock. Okay, your Mama taught you good manners, you don’t like to make a scene, yadda, yadda, yadda. But, as a writer that needs to be set aside – at least some of the time. In fact, quite a lot of the time. Writing a story, creating fiction, whether screen script, novel or short story, is a condensation of life. There’s lots of stuff in life that’s just shocking naturally. And, really, it gets attention. Doesn’t have to be big shocks, can be small shocking. But to keep eyeballs firmly attached to your work, well, something startling needs to happen. Lunch at the kitchen table with no zip doesn’t cut it.

3. Go to the dark side. Dig deep into your own psyche and uncover the characteristics and traits you really don’t want to show the world. Then put them on full display in your book or screen script. Oh, and you don’t need to let folks know that’s really you.

4. Keep yourself physically fit. Really. No kidding. Get exercise. Move. Do other things you love that involve getting your butt out of your chair in front of the computer. Seriously. If you’re fit you feel better. If you feel better you write better. Try a stand-up desk. Do something! Get moving. If you don’t, you’ll pay the price. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

5. Rethink Normal. I mean what the heck is normal anyway? What was ‘normal’ some time back is no longer normal now. It’s kind of like trying to define crazy. Crazy really is in context to the society in which one lives. Normal is along those lines, but a bit broader. “Normal” weather isn’t ‘normal’ in many places any more. Societal views change with the passage of time. Don’t think you have to be stuck with normal or even that you really know what normal is. Be curious, open, and ready to use whatever you discover to keep your writing fresh and original.

6. Be yourself. Yes, you. Write in your voice. Don’t think you have to imitate someone else. Yes, at times you’ll write parallel to someone else. It’s a weird phenomena that happens. Keep writing and never, never give up.

Now I’m going to take my own advice and go work on my novel, or was that script…whatever…I already took my morning walk.

About Peggy Bechko:

I’m a freelance writer with a special love for fiction by day and jewelry creator by night I share my home in Santa Fe, New Mexico with my husband, three dogs and a bird. You can see my new young/new writer help book called “Out of Thin air” online at and check out my jewelry creations at my etsy shop at

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