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Kill your darlings: 5 tips for cutting and editing scenes you love

Another month, and another of our authors’ Round Robins. This month we have another thought-provoking topic, this time set by author Marci Baun Deleting scenes: Do you ever delete scenes? When and why do you delete them? And what do you do with them? Do you save them? Or just toss them?  When I first…… Continue reading Kill your darlings: 5 tips for cutting and editing scenes you love

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9 Tips for Choosing Your Characters’ Names

Another month, another authors’ Round Robin! And this month our topic is: How do you choose your characters’ names? Are there any you avoid? I thought this topic might be quite easy to write about but, actually, once I started thinking about it, I realised in many ways choosing names for your characters is even…… Continue reading 9 Tips for Choosing Your Characters’ Names

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Where Do Ideas Come From? 6 Tips on Finding Inspiration

It’s another month, and another of our authors’ Round Robins… This month our topic is set by author Fiona McGier: Where do ideas come from? Creative inspiration seems like a sort of magic, and one of the wonders of the human mind. It’s amazing to think how an idea or image in someone else’s brain…… Continue reading Where Do Ideas Come From? 6 Tips on Finding Inspiration

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How do you develop the theme of your novel? And does theme matter?

It’s time for another of our authors’ Round Robin posts, and this month we have another thought-provoking topic set by author Rhobin Courtright… ‘Most novels have an easily understood point to make to the reader. Do your stories ever have more subtle themes?’ When I first start a novel, I’m not consciously aware of what…… Continue reading How do you develop the theme of your novel? And does theme matter?

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Are you a racist writer? On the difficulty of recognising our own prejudices…

I’m a member of three writers’ bodies in the UK – the Society of Authors, the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Chartered Institute of Editors and Proofreaders. I’ve been to numerous writers’ conferences and pitched to more literary agents than I can remember. From my experience, the world of publishing in the UK is predominantly…… Continue reading Are you a racist writer? On the difficulty of recognising our own prejudices…

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Editing Tips: How to Focus Your Story and Keep Readers Turning the Pages

In my work as a fiction editor I often give writers the same piece of advice: focus, focus, focus on your core story. There, I said ‘focus’ three times. And here’s an image of someone focusing, too. That’s how important I think it is! What do I mean by ‘focus on the story’? Well, a…… Continue reading Editing Tips: How to Focus Your Story and Keep Readers Turning the Pages

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Do you have a story to tell? Author J.Q. Rose shares advice and tips on writing your memoir

One of my most treasured possessions is a type-written account by my granddad of how he saw in New Year 1900 as a child. My great-grandfather lifted him aloft onto his shoulders and they walked through the streets of Dublin, where the bells were ringing. It’s a simple story, but one that’s poignant and brings…… Continue reading Do you have a story to tell? Author J.Q. Rose shares advice and tips on writing your memoir

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7 tips for self-editing your book

It’s time for this month’s authors’ Round Robin, and author Robin Courtright has set us another excellent topic… How do you self-edit your books before submitting or publishing? When I wrote my first novel I knew very little about the editing process. In my naivety, I thought editing involved checking for spelling mistakes and picking…… Continue reading 7 tips for self-editing your book

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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