Article Title: How to Write "To Win" - the "Secrets" to Writing Success (from Online Creative Writing Course)
Author: Craig Lock
Web sites: and
Craig's new blog with thoughts and extracts from various writings is at and
Other articles are available at: and
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, 'spiritual writings' (how 'airey-fairey'), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig!)

We hope that the following article (which is an
extract from our online creative writing course) may be informative and helpful to your e-zine readers, or on your web site. If it helps others "out there" in any way, then we're happy.

"We share what we know, so that we all may grow."


Funnily enough, I don't believe there are any magic 'secrets' to writing... and as to "TO WINNING" ???
If so, I'm still trying to discover them!

So I'll cover this subject very briefly, because I don't know the answers. It's really all common sense, following your basic instincts and having a bit of fun at the same time, as you learn the craft as you go along.

Just BE YOU and write what your heart, your imagination tells you to write. The writer or author is a puppeteer, moulding, sculpting the clay through the words that you choose. You weave the strands of the article or your story together, through use of your greatest tool and asset, your creative imagination.

You start your article, short story or novel with an idea. You decide HOW you will start: "Once upon a time". (This could be the little child emerging from the depths of your soul). Sounds very "airy-fairy" that!

You perhaps got the plot from a television programme or a newspaper article. The plots of some of my novels came from newspaper articles.

Then you make choices as you go along: to base your story upon fact or fiction, or faction (a mixture of fact and fiction - I like that genre (impressive word that - must use it more often!). You choose the track. You are the director, producer and actor: YOU set the scene, decide whether it is to be local or foreign. It's up to you HOW you describe the landscape or surrounding environment.
Then you build on the plot like a brick-layer, brick by little brick . That's a simile, btw!

You decide on the characters and how you will describe them. To let them live or die? What immense power you have to determine destinies! Whether to have a happy or sad ending?

"And they all lived happily ever after...."

A few short words of advice to end off this lesson...

Make your writing fun and get readers (and the editor) "hooked" with a good opening paragraph and an even better opening line.

What do you think of this example by Charles Dickens from "A Tale of Two Cities"?

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,
we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven,
we were all going direct the other way
- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."

I find it excellent and powerful writing, but the end is quite "heavy reading". What did you think of that style of writing?

How's this for an opening line... or rather, paragraph for a novel?

"James walked into the hotel and it was as if he was struck by a bolt of lightning. He instantly went into a state of shock, as the past ten years of his life flashed through his mind, as in an instant replay. It was too much to all take in in a second. His legs began to tremble, as if they had turned into instant jelly. They could barely hold his slight frame, as he struggled with all his might to hold his body upright. Out of his numbness he could see seated at the end of the bar the face of the man that was indelibly printed on his subconscious mind, the striking features that had haunted him all those years. It was the same mysterious man, who had turned his entire world upside down and consumed James's every waking thought for the past decade."

"Did I need to say "mysterious man"? Do you want to read on?

Perhaps that could be the first paragraph of my next book?

Or this one from my novel 'Angolan Dawn'

"It was just getting light with that certain freshness in the
air of early morning. Albertina Kangombe saw the figure of her husband Marcelino receding in the distance down the sandy track, walking slowly down the gentle hill. She saw him turn around once to look at her but he could not see the tears of sadness running down her face. She wondered when she would see her dear, strong
husband again. He was a tall man but he became smaller and smaller as she saw him gradually receding into the distance on that early January morning. And then he was gone... " #

# From and

Time to end off (I've done enough "work" re-writing this

Stimulate your imagination to the fullest. then go with the flow. Observe life and jot down notes about your thoughts and feelings. Then "make the words dance to your tune".

See you next week, when we'll talk more about style and grammar. Oh no, not another boring lesson!

I hope this information may be helpful to you in your creative writing, as you play the best music you have within you. Don't spend your days, stringing your instrument - start making and playing YOUR own music right NOW.

Happy writing

Craig Lock

"Life is about finding, then following the dream... and one's dream/vision comes to reality through believing in yourself, making the commitment and then creating it."
- craig

"Most people die with their music still locked up inside of them."
- Benjamin Disraeli.

"If a man has talent and cannot use it, he has failed. If he has a talent and uses only half of it, he has partly failed. If he has a talent and learns somehow to use the whole of it, he has gloriously succeeded and has a satisfaction and a triumph few men ever know."
-- Thomas Wolfe

"Everyone has a talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads."
-- Erica Jong

"If you have knowledge, let others light a candle to it."
- Margaret Fuller

That's a metaphor, btw!

"A book is small enough to hold in your hand; but when you read it, the walls fall away and you're in a room as big as the world."

"The world would have you agree with its dismal dream of limitation. But the light would have you soar like the eagle of your sacred visions."
- Alan Cohen

Craig's new blog with thoughts and extracts from various writings is at and

Author's Bio: 

About the author:
Craig is a writer, who believes in (and loves) sharing information, as well as encouraging and helping others to find their talents and gifts, to strive for and accomplish their dreams in life - whatever they may be. Craig loves writing; but then what other job would be suitable for him!

New Online Creative Writing Course.
15 entertaining lessons by a prolific author. Learn the craft of writing creatively and have fun at the same time.

'Write Rite and be Published: All that I Know about Writing, How to Write Creatively'. This e-book is available at

The various books that Craig "felt inspired to write" are available at +

All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children - MINE

What's the definition of an aspiring author?
A waiter!

What's the difference between a writer and a family pizza?
The pizza can feed a family of four!