This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Donna Douglas recently spoke to us about her writing process and route to publication, today she's giving us her top five writing tips. Her latest book Nightingales on Call was published in April and will be reviewed here soon.
1. Write every day. You have to prioritise your writing. There will always be washing to put out, or something else to do. If you write only when inspiration strikes then you’ll probably be writing your novel forever.
2. Don’t assume everything you write is perfect first time. Put it away for a month and go back to it, and you’ll see what I mean. Everything can be improved, so redraft and polish your work until it shines.
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3. Write biographies for your characters. I don’t just mean the basic stuff like hair and eye colour, etc. Write their life stories – what kind of family did they grow up in, how did their parents treat them, were they popular at school, etc. Most of it may not find its way into your book (although it may well spark off an idea for an intriguing subplot or two), but it will really help you to understand your characters and their motivations.4. I don’t really believe in writer’s block. I think if you’re stuck, it’s usually a sign that something is wrong. It might be that you’re forcing your characters to do something they don’t want to do, or you don’t understand their motivation. Or it might be that your plot is too thin and needs a boost, or you’re just bored writing it (in which case you need to give it a twist and surprise yourself). Or perhaps you’re just not writing the kind of book you really want to write. Of course there’s always a point (usually at about 30,000 words in my case) where you wonder why you ever started and whether you’re ever going to get to the end. But if you really can’t face your writing day, you need to ask yourself why.
5. Write with passion. If you aim to write a certain genre just because you think it will sell, then don’t bother, because it will look like a pale imitation. You’re likely to be writing this book for a long time, so it needs to be a story you’re truly burning to write. If you really want to write it, then chances are someone else will really want to read it.