Sinead Moriarty joins us today with her top five writing tips. Sinead's latest book, Me and My Sisters, is out now.
1. First and foremost be passionate about writing. Because if you aren’t, you wont finish the book. It’s actually extremely hard to write a book. It’s frustrating and at times torturous. So you need to be absolutely determined and passionate about your book to ensure you get to the end.
2. Do a chapter breakdown before you begin. Just a line or two about what each chapter will be about. I find this incredibly helpful because it stops me going off on tangents and ending up with 20,000 words I can’t use because it hasn’t led anywhere. Obviously some chapters will change and the story will move in different directions at certain stages, but the chapter breakdown will keep you on track and you will know where the story is going and how to get there.
3. You have to be disciplined. Forget about the laundry, dinner, housework….turn your phone off and avoid daytime TV at all costs. Go straight to your desk/kitchen table/library, wherever you write and sit there. You may only write three lines, but I promise you it will move the story along, even if you end up deleting it. While you are sitting there feeling utterly despondent, your mind is working and you will come up with new ideas the next day (or maybe the day after that!). It’s like when you’re trying to get fit, you have to go to the gym and exercise. And even though you hate it, you always feel good after it. It’s the same with writing – sweat it out.
4. Don’t try to imitate someone else’s style. Write the way you speak. Write as if you’re talking to someone. It will ring true and be new and fresh. No two people tell a story the same way. Be yourself!
5. Finish your book. If it never gets published you have done something incredible. It is an amazing achievement to finish a book and no one can ever take that away from you, whether you are lucky enough to get published or not.