Charlie Laidlaw is an author and tutor at Creating Writers

The best way to learn how to write a book is to read and to practice.

Books are your teachers, so learn from them.  Understand how a character develops as the story goes on.  Try to figure out the jigsaw of the plot and how it fits together.

Absorb the reason why you like a particular book, or a particular character.  What made you want to keep turning that book’s pages?

But to become a writer, you have to think like a writer, and writing takes practice.

But practice doesn’t have to be pen and paper or computer keypad.  For example, if you’re walking or driving somewhere, look around you.

Describe, in words in your head, the person in the car in the traffic jam beside you.  Or how you’d describe a street.  Or how you’d describe the sky above.


It’s about looking at the everyday scenes that you see – children playing, a man walking a dog, a woman sitting outside a café.  Who is she?  What is she thinking?  Who is she meeting?

It’s a useful exercise in thinking not just in thoughts but in descriptive words.  In other words, practice inside your head wherever you are.

Then when you are in front of your computer (or with pen and paper in hand), think back to that man on the bus.

Describe him and what he might have been thinking.  Where was he going and why?

Or remember the dog you saw in the park.  What was the dog doing?  Who did it belong to?

Writing books isn’t easy.  If it was, everyone would be doing it.  But there’s nothing worse than having a book inside you and never getting around to writing it.


Reading and practice are the keys to writing.  But there’s a lot more to it than that, and most aspiring writers never finish their books.

Creating Writers is all about helping you to achieve that dream.  We run both an introductory course and an immersive Diploma course, with a real qualification at the end of it.

Both courses are online but with face-to-face tuition with a traditionally published author.  You wouldn’t get your car serviced by a plumber.  So why not learn creative writing from a published author?

You’ll learn at your own pace and, while there are set modules to complete, each course is built around you and your aspirations.

If writing a book is a journey, we want you to complete that journey.  Speaking to us might be a good first step.

Questions?  Then contact us!

Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash