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Allegra Houston’s Writers Tip

Allegra HustonFor the aspiring authors out there, here’s a writers tip from Allegra Houston, author of ‘Say My Name’.

Writing screenplays teaches you a lot about structure, and about getting meaning into the story that’s not spelled out on the page. I think that’s a very useful discipline for all storytellers. I also love ten-minute writing exercises. They don’t give you enough time to think: it’s improv for writers. And that’s where the sparks, the energy, the originality, come from.

Angela Clarke Writers Tips

Angela ClarkeAuthor of ‘Trust Me’, Angela Clarke shares her writing tips for aspiring authors.

Make sure that you have a strong hooky plot that can be condensed (and sold) on one or two snappy sentences. If those sentences reel people in and make them want to hear more, you know you’ve got a strong idea.

Amber Green Takes Manhattan Book Tour – Writers Tips

Rosie NixonOn the book tour for her second book called ‘Amber Green Takes Manhattan’, Editor-In-Chief at ‘Hello’ and author, Rosie Nixon shares her top tips for writing women’s fiction

I think it’s important to find a subject area you know something about. I didn’t particularly want to write about the magazine world because I live and work in this area right now and I value my career too highly to spill all the secrets, but during the course of my career I have learnt a lot about the fashion industry both as a journalist and as somebody who has a keen interest, so I wrote about an area I felt I knew enough about.

• You need to go out and do your research, meet and listen to people who can provide you with a genuine insight.

• If you’re still working out how to start your novel, the best advice I can give is to just go for it – it’s surprising how quickly the words start stacking up. Writing a novel seems like start a gargantuan task at the beginning, when you think ‘I’ve got 90 000 words ahead of me!’ But if you break it down and think, ‘If I write 1500 words a week then I will have a book in about a year’, it’s not so daunting.

Amber Green Takes Manhattan

• Try not to keep re-reading and going over the early parts of the book, just get those words down. When I reached the end of the two books I’ve written, I went back and re-wrote a lot of the beginning because the characters had developed and the plot had changed significantly along the way. There was actually a character in ‘Amber Green Takes Manhattan’ that I completely removed from the first draft because she didn’t seem essential to the story anymore.

• I don’t have a really firm plan of where I’m going in the beginning – it’s a movable feast and I like the story and the characters to take on the journey with them, as they develop. I roughly knew how the book might end but then a whole new strand came out during the writing process, the ending changed as a result and I significantly tweaked the beginning. That said, it’s a comforting feeling once you’ve got the first draft done and then it’s like a jigsaw puzzle making all the pieces fit together perfectly and checking that every character has a satisfying

You can buy Amber Green Takes Manhattan from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Veronica Henry Writers Tips

Veronica HenryAuthor of ‘The Forever House’, Veronica Henry shares her writing tips for aspiring authors.

All budding writers should remember that anyone can start a book, but not everyone can finish one. So keep going until you reach the end. Writing is an endurance test. It’s not enough to have a brilliant idea. It’s got to keep going for at least 300-odd pages.

Paul Finch Writers Tips

C.L. TaylorAuthor of ‘Ashes To Ashes’, Paul Finch shares his writing tips for aspiring authors.

Learn the lessons of rejection. Sorry, but I’ve no time for newcomers who won’t listen to the advice of those who’ve gone ahead of them. We all of us get rejections in our early days (and not just then either, trust me). As the old saying goes, we should keep all our rejection slips so that we can gloatingly wallpaper our studies with them when we become successful. It’s no picnic at the time, being told that your work isn’t up to scratch. But if you want to get on, you need to turn this disappointment to your advantage. So, if an editor or a publisher or a producer takes the time to tell you why he/she has rejected your work, you don’t have to accept it, but you at least need to take note of it. And if you hear the same thing again and again, the likelihood is that the fault lies with you, not them. In which case, if you can put it right, that could be the difference between getting rejected again when you next submit … or making a sale. The other thing is, and it’s tied to that, you’re going to have to tough these rejections out. This is no job for a snowflake. But if it helps, remember this – it’s a long, rocky road for all of us, and we trip lots of times, but we only actually fail the day we give up.