Welcome to the fourth post in my series, Writing Tips Wednesday. If you are an author and would like to take part, please contact me.
Today author Julie Ryan shares her tips.
There is plenty of good writing advice out there but just as writing is subjective, so are the tips. You need to find what works for you so here are a few ideas that worked for me.
Write Every Day (but don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day or two.)
Procrastination is every writer’s downfall. Actually sitting down to write is the first step, even if you think you have nothing to say. Once you start you may surprise yourself with how the words flow. By writing regularly you instill good habits and it helps with continuity – you don’t have to keep going back to read what you last wrote.
Finish Writing Each Day at an Exciting Point
By finishing mid-action or even mid-sentence, you will be more likely to want to get back to it next day.
Beat Writer’s Block
If you do find yourself looking at a blank screen and the inspiration just isn’t flowing then you have a couple of options.
1. It may be that you’ve reached a mid-point in your book where nothing much happens. If so, then maybe this is the point where your reader would also lose interest, Try going back a couple of chapters to see where the problem is.
2. Go and do something else for a while. You may find that going for a walk, driving, baking a cake, all free up that brain space as you concentrate on something unconnected. It’s hardly surprising that sometimes the best ideas hit us just as we’re falling asleep, once your overworked mind has a chance to relax.
Always Carry a Notebook and Pen
You never know when inspiration will strike so be prepared. There’s nothing worse than a half-remembered dream hours later or trying to make sense of snippets of information on the backs of envelopes or serviettes.
Start a Character Notebook
For each new character you introduce, jot their details down in a separate notebook. That way, you won’t need to go through all you manuscript to find out if your character had blue or brown eyes. A family tree, if you have a lot of characters, is also useful for keeping track of how the characters are related.
Never Delete Anything Permanently
Copy all your deleted work into a separate folder. You never know when you might be able to reuse bits of it. It might even provide the inspiration for a new story at a later date. Of course, it goes without saying that you have backed your work up on a regular basis. At the very least email your WIP to yourself every few days so you won’t lose an entire file.
Don’t Be Afraid to Write the Book You Want
It can be tempting to try and emulate our favourite authors or to write a trope that is in demand. However, you need to find your own voice. If you’re passionate enough about your writing, it will show through.
About Julie Ryan:
Julie Ryan was born in a small mining village in South Yorkshire. Not venturing too far from home, she studied French Language and Literature at Hull University, where she also trained as a teacher. Then the wanderlust kicked in and she lived and worked in France, Poland, Thailand, and Greece. This broadening of the mind has had an enormous impact on her writing. She now lives in rural Gloucestershire with her husband, son and two cats. She is a bookaholic with a one-click addiction much to her husband’s dismay as they are running out of space. She will also need to live to be 197 in order to read all her books.
Her Greek Island Mystery series includes ‘Jenna’s Journey’, ‘Sophia’s Secret’ and ‘Pandora’s Prophecy’. Each can be read as a standalone. Her latest book is ‘Finding Rose’, a story of three sisters, three time periods and three secrets.