- Read lots and lots of books, not just books about writing, but books in the genre you want to write, and also in other genres. Read them for pleasure, then go back and make notes about what worked, how the author’s done various things, phrases that jump out at you.
- Write a lot, and make sure you write to the end of what you’re writing. It’s easy to write the first three chapters then move onto another shiny new idea. The hard work is slogging right through to the end, then going back and editing it until it’s as good as you can make it.
- Learn the craft of story telling – plot, pace, structure, character, dialogue. You can do this by doing the other 5 points in this list.
- Don’t give up. Think of each rejection as a piece of armour on your body.
- Talk to other writers. Writing is essentially a very lonely job; it’s just yourself and a laptop with your made up characters. I’m an extrovert, and I thrive on the company of others. I love talking story, books, reading, anything really to other writers. The RNA conference and London chapter have been a wonderful way for me to get to know other authors. Every author I’ve met has been very friendly, and willing to help others.
- Live your life. You have to live a life, you can’t just write write write. Where else do you get your ideas from? Catherine Alliott says she sits next to people at dinner parties and uses other people’s stories as inspiration for her books. I do this too, only sometimes it’s on the bus, or Tube, or something that happens to me in real life, or one of my friends. It’s all inspiration for stories. You need to replenish the creative well in a more ways than only reading about writing in books or the internet.
Here's the last stop on my blog tour for Heat Wave Astoria, me talking about the world of gay romance to a fellow RNA member Jenny Harper, and giving some tips for authors. Here's a sneak peak into the author tips, click on the link above for the full article:
Gay romance & gay fiction author