Literary Prizes·Writing Tip

Want to be a better writer? Carry a notebook

CBC Books publishes a weekly writing tip.
To inspire and support your writing, CBC Books is publishing a writing tip each week while the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize is open. (Photo by Jens Kreuter on Unsplash)

This writing tip is from Gemma Files.

"Carry a notebook. One of the smartest things I ever started doing was carrying a notebook with me, literally everywhere I go. My best ideas come to me in transit, so I've gotten into the habit of rehearsing them in my head until I get somewhere where I can write them down. Adding a notebook to the process just enables the process far more smoothly, which means I end up with lots of new material to input into whatever file I'm currently working on. Worst-case scenario, most phones now have a Notes function which allows you to tap in a quick version and email it to yourself. Very useful!"

Gemma Files is a horror writer, film critic and journalist. Her story The Emperor's Old Bones won the 1999 International Horror Guild Award for Best Short Fiction. Her novel A Book of Tongues won the 2010 DarkScribe Magazine Black Quill Award for Small Press Chill.