I like to pick authors brains about their top tips. Now and then I post questions on Facebook for authors and readers feedback on writing and books. Thanks everyone for their feedback!
I have to put my favourite quote first, as I really believe this! If you’re a writer, novels should not only be read for enjoyment purposes, but also as research. Look at the authors writing style, the layout, the way they describe things etc. If you treat writing as studying also, then you are sure to learn a lot. Some of my favourite authors have really inspired me, and whichever genre I am writing at the time, I like to read that genre also.
I also strongly believe in seeking second opinions, not from those closest to you either, as they will tell you your novel is great! Try and find beta readers, people not known to you for their honest thoughts. You would be surprised at the things people pick up on that you missed, or their own opinions on plot, characters, setting etc. Of course you like your characters, but who is to say others will warm to them? It’s the best thing you can do, along with getting your manuscript professionally edited.
If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others, read a lot and write a lot – Stephen King.
Only write for one reason – because you love doing it. Everything else is a gamble but if it pays off, it’s a fantastic bonus! – Sheila Norton.
Don’t be afraid to write with emotion and intensity. If you don’t, the characters you are trying to develop will remain lifeless stick figures on a page instead of evolving into real people – Ronald Paxton.
For me, it’s having deadlines, but being flexible. I give myself three months to write the first draft. Then, I go through the entire process that follows, beta readers, hire an editor, etc. It’s taken me a long time to accept that hitting the ‘publish’ button is not my main goal as a writer, is writing a book that I am completely proud of, no matter how long it takes to get there – AV Scott.
If you are writing sex scenes or anything controversial don’t let the thought of your family and friends reading it (eventually) edit it for you. Just write it as you want to! – Sara Cawthorne.
My best tip is: Stop procrastinating that knicker drawer doesn’t need alphabetising – sit on your ass and write! – Sara Cawthorne.
Write with passion and love, be honest and if it will improve the work, incorporate your own life experiences into fiction. Think outside the box and be open to ideas that may come from anywhere – Ian Lowell.
Stole this one from Kirsty Greenwood who in turn stole it from somewhere else but: if you want to nice up your characters make them do something LOVELY on first meeting them. Simple but effective – Rosie Blake.
“Head Hopping! This is a term when you are telling the story from one characters POV and then you “hop” into the other characters head and suddenly you are telling the story from their POV. Keep in your first characters head. Imagine that you can only see and tell things that they can see and know. Don’t have them know stuff they can’t see or know about. Like what another character is thinking! If they are experiencing something, write it as they experience it. They won’t know what they look like without looking in a mirror, so if they get embarrassed they’ll only know their face has gone red if they look in the mirror or someone tells them. What they will know is that their face feels hot.” – Teresa Whaley.
If you have any TOP TIPS, please feel free to let me know.