Thursday 24 April 2014

Guest Post ~ Rosie Blake.

Today I'm delighted to welcome the lovely Rosie Blake to Reviewed the Book, author of the fabulous How to Get a (Love) Life!

5 things I wish I had known 5 years ago...

I have learnt a great deal in the last five years or so and have written a number of short stories and novels many of which are consigned to a drawer. Each time I start there are things I experiment with and things I now know to avoid so I thought I would give you my 5 things I wish I had known when I began that first novel 5 years ago..

1) It is great to have researched your book but make life easy for yourself and as much as possibly try to write what you know. If you are going to set it somewhere hot, where have you been that was hot? What did you see, feel and do? Can you change aspects of the setting for your book but use that place as your inspiration?

2) Remember CHARACTER is key. If you don't have a hero or heroine that your readers are rooting for then what is the point? They will put the book down if they aren't invested in them. I found this incredibly hard when first writing HOW TO GET A (LOVE) LIFE because I wanted Nicola to undergo a genuine transformation, the trouble was I was worried that people wouldn't like her in the beginning at all and would therefore not care about her journey.

3) Write quickly. Stop returning to edit the first draft, it will change but for now you need to finish the story. As tempting as it is to go back and tinker it is more important you get the words down and then look at the book as a whole and see what needs adjusting. I learnt this the VERY hard way. If you really must tinker then perhaps keep a sheet of paper of file that has some suggestions on it to think about when re-drafting.

4) Be patient. As tempting as it is to end the first draft and send it off to all literary agents it is NOT ready and you need to leave it for a week or so, then re-read it and then let the fun start. This is the stage where you can really make the MS grab people's attention. You can build up characters, rack up tension and ensure you start and end the book with a 'POW'. Again I have been way too hasty in the past and sent books off long before they were ready. The rejections were inevitable.

5) ENJOY IT! What is the point of writing if you don't actually enjoy it? Work somewhere gorgeous, relish in the feel of a thousand words well done and generally give yourself rewards and breaks for being a good little writer.

Lots of luck to you all,

Rosie x x

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