This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Della Galton is a novelist and her latest book, The Morning After The Life Before (Ice And A Slice Book 2) is out now. She's also a short story writer and journalist and has been getting published for over 25 years. She's had over 1500 short stories published in the UK alone and she's run out of fingers to count her books on. She is also the agony aunt for Writers’ Forum, a qualified adult education tutor and a popular speaker and lecturer in the UK. As someone who has been lucky enough to attend one of Della's courses a few years ago, Debs can honestly say that she enjoyed every minute and learnt a huge amount.
I wish I could say that I get up at the crack of dawn and start writing, but I don't. Well, not very often. I get up early but then there are the hounds to walk, my emails to check, my social media to update and seemingly endless admin. If I am actually writing though, it's in the mornings. My creative brain words best before 2.00 pm and it's not bad again after 6.00 pm. So these are the times I write. I can edit in the afternoons but writing in the afternoons is like wading through sludge. When I'm writing novels I tend to do it for long periods – four or five hours can slip by without me moving except for coffee.
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When you are writing, do you use any celebrities or people you know as inspiration?
I tend to use bits of people and combine them. For example in The Morning After The Life Before, which is my latest novel, my character, Didi, looks like Kym Marsh (used to be in HearSay, currently in Corrie) and sounds like Joanna Lumley.
What is your favourite Women’s Fiction book of all time and why?
I'm not sure if this one truly qualifies as Women's Fiction, but right now I'd have to say the Book Thief. I fell in love with the characters and the writing – that's rare – and although I read it some time ago it's still vibrant in my mind. I also adore anything of Sophie Kinsella's because she makes me laugh out loud.
I don't plan. I've tried but it doesn't work for me. I have to just begin – although I do quite a bit of thinking and quite a bit of rethinking if things don't work out. This is my system:
3 rethink if it doesn't feel right.
4 rewrite if necessary
I call it my 'plot as you go' method. It works great for me. I also keep a chapter summary but that's as I go – to make sure that something does actually happen in each chapter and I'm not just waffling.
What was your journey to being a published author?
It was long and arduous. I had short stories published for many years. Then because I was too scared to make the leap to full length fiction I wrote serials for a few years for Woman's Weekly and My Weekly.One of my very early failed serials did in fact become my first published novel, Passing Shadows. Both the characters and plot went through several renditions and were the better for it!
What do you think is the biggest myth about being a novelist?
All novelists are rich.
What advice can you give to our readers who want to write a novel of their own?
Enjoy every moment of the writing process. If you're not enjoying it, it's probably not working. When it's finished, let it cool down for at least a month. Then do edits and rewrites. I find the editing bit extremely time consuming. But it's worth it. Most people send their novels out to agents when they are nowhere near ready.
What are you working on at the moment?
I'm working on avoiding the temptation to write a third book in my Ice series. I really fancy it and a few people are already asking when I'm going to do it, but as my day job is writing fiction for magazines and I'm also a journalist I just don't have the time at the moment.