The Right First Impression
By Virginia Heath
‘Jack Markham, lately christened the Earl of Braxton, brought his horse to a stop on the brow of the hill just as the first rays of the sun burnt through the hazy mist of the early…’ Zzzzzzzzzzz sorry I nodded off there!
Those were the uninspiring first lines of my doomed, never-to-be-published first attempt at a historical romance novel. If the reader had a convenient pair of matchsticks at the ready to prop open their drooping eyes, the story then went into a great deal of description about the fictitious place he happened to be riding in. I think the story actually started somewhere around page five. Five wasted pages where I should have hooked my reader and made them want to continue reading my book. I’ve come a long way since then.
Continue reading at Romance University >>
How to write a flashback scene: 7 key steps
Writing flashbacks is an important skill to master if your novel cuts across time periods or strongly features characters’ memories. Here are 7 key steps for how to write a flashback scene:
To unpack each step a little:
Continue reading at Now Novel >>
5 Everyday Book Marketing Tips For Authors
As I often tell authors, the good news about book promotion is the same as the bad news: There’s always something more you can be doing for your book.
This means that, on one hand, you always have the opportunity to reach new readers, no matter how long your book has been out in the world; your book can’t be “old” to someone who hasn’t yet discovered it.
On the other hand, you can spend so much time on book promotion that you can risk neglecting what got you to this point in the first place: writing.
Continue reading on Writer’s Edit >>
Writers and workshops
The very first writing workshop I ever attended turned me off them for life (I thought at the time). Fifteen years ago I spent three whole weeks* as a Lancaster University undergrad, taking Creative Writing as a minor alongside my science degree. To get onto this module you had to queue up in front of a specific table in a huge hall of similar tables and hand a writing sample to the lecturer who was sitting there. I had written my piece the day before, and it was about a writer who was trying to come up with something that would prove he was a good writer. (Oooh, meta!) The lecturer scanned the first couple of paragraphs, running her finger along the words, and then said, rather unenthusiastically for my liking, “Yeah, okay. Fine.” I was in.
Continue reading at Catherine Ryan Howard’s blog >>