I'm a Tabula Rasa when it comes to writing fiction; at least, it feels that way. I haven't written any short stories since my early teens, but I've always enjoyed writing, even in essay form. My studies have generally locked me out of fiction since time doesn't permit me to diverge from reading textbooks, manuals and research articles. That's not to say I don't read the occasional novel, but I haven't been exceeding three a year for a while now. To cut to the chase, I can't seem to get the scenes in my head down in writing; they exist only as pages of ideas. Most of these arise from being a regular lucid dreamer, so keeping a form of "dream diary" suits me well. My question is: what is the best way, in your opinion, of developing the skills necessary in creative writing? By this I'm thinking of techniques such as those to create suspense, ways of building tension and how to draw readers in from the offset. Reading as much as I can would be an obvious answer, but perhaps knowing more about these techniques so that I can pick them out in context would help me. Would it? Also, I've tried writing a few short scenes, but struggle to describe the physical actions and environments in any sophisticated way. Should I keep trying, and continue to frustrate myself, or focus more on short exercises as I encounter new skills with my reading? E.g. practice dialogue separate from action.