Writing is the fulfilment of many people’s dreams (and being published even more so) but, as with any other area of life, there are those prepared to make money out of your dreams and rip you off doing so. When you start out, it is knowing what to look out for that can be tricky. Also, where do you go for advice? (Answer: The Society of Authors, The Alliance of Independent Authors, and talk to other writers. Word does get out about scams and the like).
So much has changed in the industry since I started writing seriously. I’ve gone from using manual typewriters to laptops. I’ve gone from sending submissions in by snail mail to sending almost everything in by email. (There is still the occasional competition which prefers post but these are as common as the Dodo).
In the joy of creativity, and unless you have decided to write solely for your own pleasure, which is fine, it is easy to forget writing is a business. As with any industry, there are charlatans out there.
It is only when you’ve been writing for a while, when you’ve had setbacks, you realise how much you don’t know. There are things I wish I’d been aware of when I started writing.
For this three part series, I share tips and contributions from writing colleagues. A big thank you to them for taking part in this series. We all hope you find it useful. There will be a brief bio for my colleagues plus links to their Amazon Author Central page and the like. Between us, we represent a very wide range of genres and experience in the industry.
Now that doesn’t mean Val is leaving her (writing) life of crime (!), but she has turned to non-fiction with the recent release of her Let’s Get Published.
How would you define the moments that matter? [Read more…] about Moments That Matter
Image Credit: A very big thank you to Geoff Parkes for kind permission to use some of his photos from the recent Swanwick Writers’ Summer School.
Why should writers get to a good writing conference if they can and not just the once?
The obvious benefits are learning new skills, how to improve those you already have, or both, from a wide range of speakers. You literally tap their knowledge and experience and apply it to your own writing. If you need to know more about editing, you go and listen to top tips from an editor working widely in the industry etc. [Read more…] about The Benefits of a Good Writing Conference
Networking is vital for all writers. You make connections, those may lead to taking part in events like book fairs, but, most importantly, you make friends. There is nobody like another writer who will understand the drive to write and its frustrations. [Read more…] about Networking Tips – Allison Symes (with Mandy Huggins)
Part 1 of Gail Aldwin’s interview last week shared Gail’s memories from her round the world bus trip and how it influenced her Paisley Shirt flash fiction collection (published by Chapeltown Books). Here she shares her writing tips, the joys of creating characters and her thoughts on ebooks and “real” books. Comments on the latter would be welcome! [Read more…] about Writing Tips and Character Creation: Interview with Gail Aldwin Part 2
Another year has almost gone and it is the time when many of us review how we spent our 12 months. As mentioned last week, I reassess my writing aims and set down what I think I would like to achieve in the next year. [Read more…] about End of Year Reviews – Are They Useful?
Last week’s post was part 1 of my interview with Jennifer C Wilson, author of the Kindred Spirits series and also of The Last Plantagenet? She writes paranormal historical fiction. It’s not often the heroes of a story are the ghosts but Jennifer specialises in this and the books make for a great read. I met Jennifer at Swanwick in 2016. [Read more…] about Stepping Back in Time: Part 2 of Jennifer C Wilson Interview
I first met Jennifer C. Wilson in 2016 at the first Swanwick Writers’ Summer School for us both. We became friends and this year we had the great joy of “racing” each other to Swanwick’s Book Room to put our books out for sale! [Read more…] about Ghosts, History and What Might Have Been: Introducing Jennifer C Wilson
Gill talked about why she wrote this book (it is based on her late mother-in-law’s life) and shared the difficulties in bringing it to publication. In Part 2, Gill shares what she feels are the joys and woes of writing historical fiction, gives useful advice to those new to this genre, and reveals what happened as a result of the book. This includes the development of material for use in schools. Now over to Gill…
[Read more…] about The Joys and Woes of Writing Historical Fiction – Part 2 of Gill James Interview
I think the hardest form of writing is humorous writing because humour is (a) subjective and (b) changes over time. Good humorous writing is a joy to read but it is so difficult to do well.
Two of my favourite authors, P.G. Wodehouse and Terry Pratchett, have sold millions of books each and have been translated into many languages. That aspect is another reason why humour is difficult to write: not all aspects of “English” humour translate well. For it to work the humour in the stories has to be universal. Still there is plenty about the human condition to send up so the material is out there, ready to be used! [Read more…] about Humorous Writing (and why it is a serious business)