Guest Post: Rachel Roberts - Rachel's Writing Tips

Rachel's Writing Tips

Since so many of you have asked for tips to create your own stories, Atitila, Raider, and I thought we we'd share some writing secrets! Whether you're a writer starting with a blank page, a painter staring at a canvass, or a sculptor shaping a lump of clay, creating is a process. It takes time, practice, and patience to bring your vision to life. Creativity can be hard work, but it's always worth the effort. The important thing is to have fun!

WAIT! Don't write - yet: You have to prepare first. Make some decisions about what kind of story you want to tell - action, adventure, fantasy, mystery - and who your characters are. But where do you get ideas?

You need input to get output: To get your imagination flowing, start by doing something you like. Read a book, watch a movie, listen to music, walk in the forest - any experience that makes you feel inspired and ready to create. 

Be open to ideas: As a writer, part of your job is to observe. Ideas--big and small-- will come if you pay attention to the world around you. Maybe your cat did something so amazing that it gives you an idea for a magical creature, or your BFF had an interesting comment that made you think, or a ray of sunlight shining through a maple tree looked like a cloud of golden fairy dust. The more you study the real world, the truer and realer your own world and characters will feel. 

Be ready to catch ideas: If you don't grab that idea when it pops into your mind, it might get lost. Carry a notebook so you're always prepared to jot things down. Soon you'll have a lot of cool stuff to help create your story. Some ideas you'll love and others you won't, but that's okay. You never know what will help build your story. Plus, when you feel stuck during writing, you can always go back to your notebook and find ideas to get you moving again.

The Big Idea: You've immersed yourself in great stories, you have a collection of cool ideas, you're inspired, excited... now what? Here's what I do:

  • 1. Write A Story Summary: A story summary helps you answer the question, "Hey, what's your story  about?" This will help you keep the big picture in mind as you start designing the beginning, middle, and end to your story. You can also use this summary for sales copy when you are ready to post your book online or print it. Here are some examples of the Avalon book summaries:

Circles in the Stream: Three very different teenage girls are all drawn to a secret place deep in the woods. There they discover a portal to another world through which strange and wondrous animals have emerged, searching desperately for the magic that will keep them alive. The animals are peaceful and good, but what follows them through the portal is pure evil. Emily, Adriane, and Kara have been chosen by magical beings called Fairimentals to protect the magical animals, though the don't know why. To save them and their world, the three girls must begin a quest to find the lost home of legendary magic, Avalon... or perish trying.

Secret of the Unicorn: The problems in the magical world of Aldenmor are getting worse. Many new creatures are arriving in Ravenswood through the portal and they report that the Fairy Glen, home of the Farimentals, has vanished. A frightened and terribly wounded unicorn is among the new refugees to Ravenswood. Can Emily communicate with her to offer help? The future of the magic web depends upon the dark secret the unicorn carries. 

  • 2. Create Character Bios: Write a short bio for each of your lead characters, including stats like age, hair color, eyes, height, likes and dislikes. Don't worry about selecting names. I always use placeholders (any name I can think of) Until the perfect name comes to me. 

  • 3. Build Your World: Write a short description of the places in your story. Is it a fantasy world? Is it a zoo? A mall? An old, spooky house? Know your environments to make your world feel real.
Keep your notes handy, because as you start to write your story, you might want to update, expand, or change these three things. 

Now that you have the basics, it's time to start writing and creating your own world! 

Your fellow writer mage,

Rachel Roberts is the author of Avalon: Web of Magic. You can learn more about her and her books at her website, Avalonmagic.com. Check out her books on Goodreads.
Check back here soon for more about this book series! Thanks for reading!


  1. "Be ready to catch ideas."
    I really love that sentence. It's so true. I can't count the number of times I thought, "YES, that's it!" and then lost it before I could find a pen!

    Now, I always have a pen on hand, so if push comes to shove, I can at least write the idea on my hand or arm before it flies away from memory.

    --Sarah B.
    Social Media Assistant

    1. Thank you for stopping by! I always have a pen with me as well :)


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