Jumping through Hoops

July 29, 2013 at 4:27 pm

The modern writer has plenty of hoops to jump through if they want their novel to be successful. Writing it is the easy part. After that there’s editing, both by yourself and by someone else (preferably a professional editor). Then, once your book has been accepted for publication, there’s all the preparations, rewrites, adjustments, etc. Then there’s promotions. Even if your book is being published traditionally (i.e. by a publisher who pays the costs upfront and pays you royalties on sales) it’s a good idea to be actively promoting. These days, that includes activity on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and writing […]

Why is it easier to ‘tell’ rather than ‘show’?

July 23, 2013 at 11:48 am

I don’t know if other writers struggle with this, but sometimes I struggle to write in the ‘showing’ style, rather than the ‘telling’ style. For those of you who don’t know, this is ‘telling’: John and Mary were married in a beautiful ceremony. Gary was John’s best man for the day, and everyone thought Mary looked beautiful. This is showing: As John stood at the end of the aisle, he saw a vision of radiance beginning to move towards him. It was Mary. He had never seen her look so amazing. Gary, his best man, gave him a nudge, but […]

I hate the word ‘very’ very much!

July 16, 2013 at 12:41 pm

It may be a hangover from my journalism days, but I’m no fan of the word ‘very’. No, I don’t think it is a hangover from that. I know other editors who frown on words like ‘very’ as well. While some might have a bugbear about words that end in ‘ly’, ‘very’ is my pet peeve. Admittedly, I still use it sometimes, especially when writing dialogue, because a lot of people use it when they’re talking. However, when I did journalism I was told that if I needed to use the word ‘very’ then the word after it was the […]

Talking Writing with Writers

July 11, 2013 at 11:12 am

Yesterday I spoke to a writers’ group. It was great fun. There were about eight of them, and we sat around chatting for a couple of hours. Well, if I’m honest, I did most of the talking, but that’s why they asked me to go. I talked about how to get a book published. Because I work for a publisher and am a professional editor, I do have a bit of experience in the kind of things that see new writers knocked back. This group seemed to know a lot about that sort of thing already, but they still had […]

To outline or not to outline

July 2, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Do authors need to write an outline when they are about to write a novel? I’d be interested to know whether or not my author friends do this. As far as my own writing goes, I have never bothered to do an outline, not even when I was at school. I always considered them a boring waste of time. Why write an outline when you can write the story itself? I deliberately steered clear of them, even in exams. I never understood why the teachers pushed the idea of an outline so much. Maybe they needed something that showed there […]