Tips For Writers - Week 2

Posted on 16th August, 2019

Welcome to the second in my summer series of writing tips. Last week’s blog had well over 100 visitors and I hope that number will increase for this and subsequent posts as word gets round.

Karen Coles (writing as K E Coles) is the author of the Mesmeris trilogy, a darkly compelling tale about a malign religious sect.

"Whether at the first draft, revision or editing stage, my main rule is to always have a pen and paper handy wherever I go – on a journey, in the bath, next to my bed, in the kitchen etc. I often go through scenes in my head while doing other things (mostly when cooking, oddly), and have imaginary conversations. I have to write them down immediately as the wording is usually much better and more natural than if I try to recall it later. I write both on the laptop and on paper, but when writing a totally new scene, the ideas seem to flow better on paper. I’m not the greatest typist so often spell things wrongly and have to amend them, which takes me out of the story."


Karen's Amazon page


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Ros Rendle writes historical sagas and contemporary romance.


"I’m not a major plotter but I always make myself write down a rough outline and allocate the number of chapters to each section, ensuring that by 25% or 50% etc. of the way through I have the correct structure in place – more or less. After that the plot and the characters tend to drive the story. At the end when I come to editing I’ll add whatever or take out the bits that detract. Taking out is hard of course but I’m better at surrendering those for good writing these days."


Ros's website  


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Margaret Kaine has written sagas about life in the Potteries between the 1950s and the 1970s, as well as Edwardian novels.


"Once I've completed a chapter, I find it invaluable to read it aloud. I wait until the house is empty, then project my voice as if I'm reading to an audience. This seems to work better than reading quietly, in revealing repetitions, flat passages, or whether the writing flows or lacks pace. I then edit immediately. After several days I read the chapter aloud again, before a final polish."


Margaret's Amazon page


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Sharon Booth is a prolific indie-writer of contemporary romance and romantic comedy.


"Never, ever throw away old writing. Seriously. You might feel you've written total garbage that is only fit for the recycle bin, but one day you may stumble across something you've forgotten about, and look at it in wonder, realising it's exactly what you need for the new book you're working on. So hang onto your old stuff, even if you think it's the worst thing you've ever read, because you could reread it, awestruck at your amazing talent."


Sharon's Amazon page


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Jessica Redland writes contemporary romance. She has recently signed with Boldwood Books.


"Don't get obsessed with Amazon positions or reviews. It's great to know how you're doing in the charts, but your book can fluctuate massively from one day to the next. Don't worry if it suddenly drops 80,000 places, because it might rise 85,000 the next day! As for reviews, read and enjoy the good ones and learn from the bad ones if they're written constructively. If they aren't, ignore them! Mind you, that's probably easier said than done. At the time of writing, I haven't had less than a 4-star review and I'm sure my first 1- or 2-star will have me sobbing bucket-loads, but I will remind myself that it's just one person's opinion and there's a stack of other people who loved it!"


Jessica's Amazon page

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That’s it for this week’s writing tips. I hope you found something that strikes a chord and that will help with your own writing. Or, if you aren’t a writer, I hope you enjoyed this insight into the writing process.


See you again next week with more ideas.


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