Good morning/Good afternoon/Good evening/ HELLO!! Today I am really excited because I have a special guest posting on my blog today! E. R. Murray (author of recently released Caramel Hearts) has very kindly come up with 10 tips on becoming a better writer! So I hope you enjoy these amazing tips! And you can expect a review of Caramel Hearts from me, very soon (hopefully)! Check it out on Goodreads here! And check out the authors Facebook page here :)
often and widely and with abandon. Devour books like fuel. Try genres you don’t expect to like. Read new authors and recommendations from booksellers and librarians, as well as friends. Surprise yourself!
the internet, the TV, the phone. No excuses - remove all distractions so that writing is your only focus. Music is optional but personally, I find it too distracting.
and start doing. Talking about writing is not actually writing. Turning that great idea into an actual, physical book worthy of publication is not going to happen unless you start writing.
to your desk every day. If you can’t turn up every day, then do so as often as you can. However, I believe that if you love writing, you’ll make time.
about what you’re writing; your characters, their feelings, their world. If you’re passionate about your story, it’ll show on the page.
if you find it difficult to face the blank page, try writing without plotting, planning or editing. Once you have words on the page, it usually feels less intimidating. (Check out #1stdraftdiary on twitter for real accounts of writing first drafts this way)
Take short breaks...
in your day. It’s good to take a walk, have a cup of tea away from your desk, read a quick chapter or short story; but don’t get sucked into the internet until your writing for that day is complete. A break will refresh your brain and keep you going for longer.
Take long breaks...
between drafts. We need space so we can see the mistakes and gaps in our manuscripts more easily. Switch to another project for a while, but don’t stop writing: it’s the perfect time to play with a short story or a new idea. Don’t worry – your real WIP will be ticking around in your subconscious.
Silence the inner critic...
You won’t be able to kill that nagging voice off completely but the sooner you can blank it out, the better. (I find that the best way to do this is to turn up and write.)
repeat. Writing is rewriting – only when you’re 100% certain that you can’t take it any further, give your manuscript to an editor, ready to start the process over again. It’s what your manuscript deserves.
About Caramel Hearts: Liv Bloom's life is even more complicated than that of your average fourteen-year-old: her father walked out on the family when she was young, her mother is in a recovery centre for alcoholics, and her older sister is struggling to step into Mum's shoes. The only person she can turn to is her best friend Sarah, who gets her out of scrapes at school and is a constant source of advice and companionship. One day Liv discovers a book of recipes written in her mum's handwriting, which sets her off on a journey towards self-discovery and reconciliation - but a theft, a love rivalry and a school bully are just some of the many obstacles on the way.
About E.R. Murray: Elizabeth Rose Murray lives in West Cork where she writes, fishes, and grows her own vegetables. Her debut novel for children aged 9–12, The Book of Learning - Nine Lives (Mercier Press) was chosen as the 2016 Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Citywide Read for Children. Caramel Hearts is her first book for young adults.
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