Plot

Plotting is fun. Play with your characters (and your readers), plotting dastardly things to do to them, have them do and say. I love doing a brainstorming session with writer or reader friends. Don’t discount anything at first. The more outrageous the better. Let them percolate for a while and see what the girls in the basement come up with.

Make a list, as long as possible. Cliches and hackneyed ideas are easy to come up with. The more original and freshest ideas come further down on the list.

Take your time over it. Preferably, plot your next book(s) while you are writing, editing or resting an earlier one.

Write like you’re in love

Don’t you just love this advice? Having problems with your writing? Do whatever it takes to fall back in love with your story. Put your heart and soul into it. There’s nothing like it.

That’s why it’s so hard to cut into the story you love so much. It truly is like killing your darlings as William Faulkner advised. Editing requires a different mindset. Rather than your heart, your head and your intellect must be in charge.

To show or to tell

There is a time for showing and a time for telling in writing. This is the best explanation for the effect on the reader of each of these methods of conveying information to your reader.

Consider what effect you wish to create in your reader when making the decision whether you ought to show or tell.

Untangling

Editing fiction is a labour of love. It is an honour to be trusted with client’s literary babies. I love to dig my fingers in and tease out the story strands, look for ways to help an author smooth them over, improve the reader experience.

I’m proud of my little shelf of books which I had my hands on, my fingers in, for just a little while.

It is noble

Had you thought of writing, as a noble occupation? I know that when I read I find that escape, those moments of delight and forgetfulness. I appreciate the plotting, planning, writing, rewriting, editing and all the other hours of work that go into publishing a book. So thanks to all the hardworking, underpaid writers and authors out there for your nobility.

How can we as readers show our appreciation for the hard work of our favourite authors?

  • Purchase books through proper channels rather than from dodgy sites. Ensure your favourite authors are paid for their hard work.
  • Spread the word when you enjoy a book by any means you can. Talk about it. Word of mouth goes a long way toward increasing sales.
  • Buy books as gifts for people who might enjoy them.
  • If nothing else, give your favourite books five stars or write a book review where you purchase them, on Goodreads, your blog…
  • Share your delight on your favourite social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest…
  • Teach your children the joy of reading and an appreciation for this nobility.