From the creators of the incredibly successful, ‘Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling’, Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen share their writers tips.
It sounds like a no-brainer, but write the book you’d like to read. If psychological thrillers are your bag, hone your detective skills. Not every book has to be a work of literary genius. Just start writing!
Author of the ‘Last Letter Home’, Rachel Hore shares her writing tips with budding writers.
Not their first line! A good first line is often written last. Erasing cliché from your prose is important. Try to say things in a fresh way. Read other writers’ work and observe how they do things. Acquire a book such as ‘Self-editing for Fiction Writers’ by Renni Brown and Dave King, which will help you improve your style.
Today on the book tour for Sophie Jenkins’ new book ‘The Forgotten Guide To Happiness’, Sophie talks about the struggle that most authors face and that’s writers block.
In the ‘Forgotten Guide to Happiness’, the jilted heroine Lana Green writes a depressing sequel to her first novel, a love story, and when she is forced to come up with a new idea she gets writer’s block.
The original idea was like a bigger take on Facebook posts; the first novel had all the stages of a romantic relationship, the happy photographs, the beautiful settings – and then the next thing you know, it’s all over except for the unanswerable question – what just happened? The darker side of life is always more interesting to write about than happiness and I also liked the idea of the romance from her point of view as opposed to the way her boyfriend sees it – to him, her fantasised version of him is difficult to live up to, whereas for her, portraying him in a idealised way was a sign of how much she loved him.
Because of this she loses all sense of focus when she comes to write the next book and she only becomes unblocked because of the influence of Nancy Ellis Hall, a feminist writer with dementia who fell in love with a younger man.
The character of Nancy is based on my mother who has always been a larger-than-life character and for a long time I wasn’t able to write even though I only saw her two days a week. I live in London and she lived in Wales. But I thought about her all the time and it felt as if I didn’t have any room left in my head for being creative; in the scheme of things it really wasn’t a priority. Real-life sometimes doesn’t leave much room for anything else and that’s how it should be.
To help my creativity I went on a Commando Survival Course in Buckinghamshire in November, when the snow was on the ground. I creatively built a shelter but I was more focused on surviving the cold than writing.
Then I went to a Romantic Novelists’ meeting with friends and they were talking about when they write, and what they usually wear when they’re writing. It’s almost like a superstition, swapping writing tips, and I’m always on the lookout for brilliant ideas that might be helpful. One of my friends said she stays in bed and with her laptop and she doesn’t get up until she’s finished her thousand words target. That method was very appealing, until another friend told us she doesn’t start writing until she’s showered, dressed and put make-up on, because she says it’s only then that she feels ready to do a day’s work, and I got on board with that as well.
For Christmas, my sister came up with a solution. She gave me a Mint Velvet gift wrapped box and inside she had put dark grey tracksuit bottoms and a pale grey top and told me it was my new writing suit.
Wake up, shower, put on the writing suit and I’m good to go.
You can buy The Forgotten Guide to Happiness from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.
Trisha Ashley shares her writing tips with budding writers.
Read very widely, but especially current bestsellers in the genre you’re writing for. Ask yourself what their novels are giving the reader that yours doesn’t.
I’m delighted to be kicking off the book tour for ‘The Ocean Liner’, the latest historical novel by Marius Gabriel.
Set in the Golden Age of the ocean liner, Marius takes readers on a journey of opulence and tragedy upon the SS Manhattan, a ship charged with carrying refugees from WW2 Europe to a promised new life in America. Based on in-depth research of this period, of real U-Boat attacks and successful rescue journeys, ‘The Ocean Liner’ is a story of escape and loyalty, of love and loss, but most of all it’s a story of hope. The novel was thoroughly researched and ‘The Ocean Liner’ is a fictionalised portrayal of some of the true stories from The Golden Age of the Ocean Liner, and sensitively pays tribute to some of true tragedies of the period. From the destruction of the SS Athenia, the heroics of Commodore Albert ‘Rescue’ Randall, to the events that changed Rose Kennedy’s life forever, Gabriel brings to life a cast of refugees escaping WW2.
Today, on the book tour, Marius offers a writers tip to aspiring authors out there.
Without hesitation, I advise all aspiring writers to let your imagination run free. Don’t write to a formula. Write what’s inside you. Hold nothing back. Let every fantasy, every fear, spill out on the page. Nothing Before starting to use my computer, I fill a book with handwritten notes. I write with a fountain pen in green ink. There’s no better way of getting my thoughts down – they seem to flow from my heart onto the page.
Then I use that notebook to guide me as I write in MS Word. I never disobey the instructions I’ve given myself in ink. I know that, however odd they may sound, they were my truest and most creative impulses.
Don’t write to a formula. Write what’s inside you. Hold nothing back. Let every fantasy, every fear, spill out on the page. Nothing else is interesting – only what’s in your imagination. On that you will fail or succeed.
You can buy The Ocean Liner from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.
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