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Three of the best books for fiction writers on the craft of writing

No matter what stage you’re at with your writing – whether still at the first draft, or with dozens of books to your name – there’s always something new to learn about the craft of writing. Besides writing, I also work as a freelance editor. (In fact, for quite a while now the editing has…… Continue reading Three of the best books for fiction writers on the craft of writing

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How to make a living from writing: some useful tips from the London Book Fair #lbf

My first ever visit to the London Book Fair was an inspiring and thought-provoking day. One of the talks at Author HQ was on how writers can boost their earnings. The room was packed, indicating that this is a hot topic for many! Most authors earn less than a living wage from their books alone,…… Continue reading How to make a living from writing: some useful tips from the London Book Fair #lbf

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#Writing: How to keep focused on the central idea of your story, and why it matters

When I’m editing fiction and making notes in the margins of a manuscript, there are a couple of comments I make more often than any others. One of them is ‘show, don’t tell’, and another is ‘focus on the story’. What’s my book about? A piece of advice I often give to writers is to…… Continue reading #Writing: How to keep focused on the central idea of your story, and why it matters

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How to Develop Characters That Live and Breathe #writing

Some books contain unforgettable characters. Those that spring to mind for me straightaway are Cormoran Strike in the Robert Galbraith novels, Lila and Lenu in My Brilliant Friend, Anne of Green Gables, Miss Jean Brodie, Scarlett O’Hara, D’Artagnan and the three Musketeers. The characters in these books are almost like real people to me. I have…… Continue reading How to Develop Characters That Live and Breathe #writing

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Three essentials for creating page-turning tension in your novel #amwriting #writetip

Creating a page-turning read is the topic for this month’s Round Robin… How do you develop the tension every story needs to keep the reader involved? This is such an excellent question. There are so many elements to this that at first I felt overwhelmed. Then I decided to follow my own advice in a…… Continue reading Three essentials for creating page-turning tension in your novel #amwriting #writetip

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Writing is rewriting: how to be brave and persevere

I have to confess this month hasn’t been a good writing month for me. I’ve started a new novel and I’m about 30,000 words in. A few agents have seen it already, and their comments have all been along the lines of ‘stick with it’, ‘well written’, and one actually said, ‘the opening is brilliant’.…… Continue reading Writing is rewriting: how to be brave and persevere

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What makes a writer write, when writing is such hard work?

It’s June, which means the sun is out, my roses are in bloom – and it’s time for another of our authors’ Round Robins… This month the topic is: Why do you write or feel compelled to write, even through the difficult parts? This is such a great question. A while ago, when I was in…… Continue reading What makes a writer write, when writing is such hard work?