Tag: writing tips

From Screenwriter to Novelist

From Screenwriter to Novelist

I first wanted to become a novelist because I wanted to find out how it was done. I remember as a teenager being gobsmacked when I read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s last novel, Tender Is The Night, in an edition that explained how two different versions had been published, the second re-arranging the chronology of the […]

April 9, 2016 | By | Reply More
The Art of the “Difficult” Female Protagonist

The Art of the “Difficult” Female Protagonist

Gone With the Wind, published in 1936, was extraordinary for many reasons. For me, the real genius of Margaret Mitchell’s work was her creation of Scarlett O’Hara, a rich, challenging, and difficult character. She’s spoiled, self-centered, scheming, and her family is on the wrong side of history. In spite of all that, we turn the […]

March 29, 2016 | By | 8 Replies More
5 Mistakes I Made Writing My First Novel

5 Mistakes I Made Writing My First Novel

I began writing my first novel thinking I’d get it done in a year. It ended up taking me four. Sure part of this was due to my full time job, and propensity to procrastinate, but if I had known then what I know now I probably could have made it happen. Here are the […]

March 25, 2016 | By | 6 Replies More
Whose Point of View is it Anyway?

Whose Point of View is it Anyway?

When I started writing my debut novel, The Other Mrs Walker (Mantle, 2016) I kept getting transported back to 1944. Not literally, of course (though that would have helped with research) but through the eyes of one of my characters.Then another. Then another after that. Sometimes this would happen within the same page. Sometimes within […]

March 10, 2016 | By | 6 Replies More
The Cinderella Complex – Waiting For Mr. Write

The Cinderella Complex – Waiting For Mr. Write

How many of us have secretly hoped that we will be ‘discovered’ by some hot new literary agent or plucked from writer obscurity by a medium to large publishing house who will alter the course of our writing careers F-O-R-E-V-E-R? Go on, admit it. We’ve all day-dreamed about being the writing world’s equivalent to Kate […]

March 6, 2016 | By | 11 Replies More
How To Create Tension

How To Create Tension

It’s all a bit tense… You might think of tension in a novel as being obvious ‘edge of your seat action’: the FBI agent running down the rabid serial killer, the guy dangling by his fingernails off a window ledge. In fact, all great novels are powered by tension of some kind or another. It […]

February 25, 2016 | By | 3 Replies More
10 Ways To Kick Start Your Writing

10 Ways To Kick Start Your Writing

Joanne Harris, @Joannechocolat, is one of our favorite authors on twitter. If you do not follow her yet, you should!   1. If you’re at a creative loose end, read. If you’re not at a loose end, read. Basically, read. #TenWaysToKickstartYourWriting — Joanne Harris (@Joannechocolat) November 28, 2015 2. Leave your reading comfort zone. Read […]

December 5, 2015 | By | 1 Reply More
Plot-driven or Character-driven?

Plot-driven or Character-driven?

I love reading books about writing. It is my number one displacement activity when I should be working on my novel. However, it bugs me how some how-to books split plot and character. Some books even divide genres into plot-driven and character-driven and say that the plot-driven novels are more likely to be ‘commercial fiction’ […]

November 27, 2015 | By | 2 Replies More
Lessons Learned From Writing a Memoir or Two

Lessons Learned From Writing a Memoir or Two

“Who would read a book about your life?” That question came from a former friend, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who in 1995 aimed to convince me writing a memoir was pure folly and would likely ruin my career as a serious journalist. After selling nearly 100,000 copies in seven languages of I Closed My Eyes […]

November 17, 2015 | By | 6 Replies More
Let It Go

Let It Go

Years ago, at a party in Brighton I was introduced to a writer whose book had just been nominated for the Booker Prize. I had just started telling people I was writing my first novel. He was gracious, charming. ‘What’s your process?’ he said. Process? My mind went blank. Writers have processes? If I have […]

October 22, 2015 | By | 5 Replies More