This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
1. Research. It’s so important even when writing a fictional novel to get the facts right for the era you are writing in. However, there is a fine line that you should be careful not to cross. There should be enough factual information to set the time but not so much that you detract from the story. Always remember this is a fictional novel you are writing.
2. One of the best tips I was ever given when I started writing was; put it on stage! So, whenever possible let the characters move the story forward through dialogue rather than you narrate it. This will help bring your characters to life and make them more believable.
3. Less is more – there’s nothing worse than padding in a book, words that are there for no reason. Every single line should be moving the story forward so if you can say what needs to be said in a sentence rather than a paragraph this will hold the reader’s attention more and keep the story flowing. There is an art and skill to writing. What is commonly known as ‘the hook’ (something to draw the reader straight in to the story) should always be on the first page. There should be another ‘hook’ at the end of each chapter to make them want to turn the page and see what happens next.4. Listen to advice that professionals give you. Each agent or publisher knows exactly what they want so always take heed of what they say. It’s no good thinking yours is the best story ever written and that it doesn’t need to be changed. Even published authors have to listen to advice given by their editors and copy editors and if you all work together as a team hopefully you will make your book the best it can be. Never become complacent. There is always room for improvement, if you think otherwise I think your writing could suffer. I always strive to make each book a little bit better than the last.
5. Never give up! The road to publication is rarely smooth and there may be lots of rejections along the way which can be very disheartening. Join a local writer’s club so that you can get support from people whose aims are the same as yours and support each other through the process. Listen to agents and publisher’s critiques and learn from them and hopefully one day with determination you will get there!
The Mill Girl by Rosie Goodwin is out now.