This week I am so excited that the GORGEOUS Rebecca Pugh has written her top five writing tips for #WriteThinking. Not only is Rebecca a super talented writer (I mean, seriously, check her books out), but she is a total bookworm and can be found reviewing books left right and centre over at her blog – Becca’s Books.
Five Tips from Becca
- DO NOT – I repeat – DO NOT COMPARE your writing journey to anyone else’s. It was actually my partner who taught me this lovely little slice, and just when I needed it too. He said to me, “Becca, your journey is completely different to anyone else’s, and theirs to yours, too.” It’s hard not to compare sometimes. Perhaps it’s just me, perhaps it isn’t. But if you ever find yourself watching other authors/writers, marvelling at how they steam ahead or seem to whack out word counts at lightning speed, don’t think that should be what you’re doing too. Everyone is different, and you’ll see this proven through the way people plan, plot, set goals… You are your own writer, and as you progress, you’ll realise that you’ll begin to become confident in how you do things. It’s an exciting path to tread, but very rarely is it the same path as someone else. Focus on you.
- Be confident in what you do and how you do it. This is one that I’m definitely still trying to get to grips with, but I think I’m slowly getting there. Don’t shy away from what you’re about. If you write gripping thrillers, stand tall about it. If you write whimsical romance (like me), be proud! If you write space dramas set on Mars with aliens and aircrafts, good on you! It’s true that not everyone will enjoy your novel, but for those who will, make sure they know you’re there. Be proud, be sure, and be happy with it too. Don’t ever lose your love for what you write, that’s where the passion comes from.
- Fall in love with your characters. Get to know them inside out. Find out their likes and dislikes. Ask them questions and imagine how they’d answer in your mind. Then go even further – imagine their voice! If they took a trip to a theme park, which ride would they race to first? Why? Imagine them in all manner of scenarios and nail down those characteristics that you want to shine from them. These are just ideas of course, but once you and your characters are best friends, time spent with them will be an absolute treat! How do they smile? How do they laugh? What word would come shooting out of their mouth if they stubbed their toe on the bedside table? Not only is it completely beneficial for your story, but it’s fun too!
- Listen to music. This is an odd one, and I know not everyone will agree that this helps when writing, perhaps preferring silence, but whenever I’m at a particularly emotional or sexy scene, music is the best thing there is to help set the mood in your mind. I love doing this, closing my eyes for a few moments, imagining the different ways in which things could happen for my characters. I stick my headphones in and shut out the world, and step into my fictional one for a while instead.
- Remember, the reader doesn’t know what you know. I have moments of doubt, we all do, and this is one that I always love to remember. When I’m reading back through my work, and perhaps worrying that it’s not good enough, I have to remind myself that this is the 573573th time I’ve read it. For the reader, it’s the first. You know every twist, turn and surprise that’s about to come because you wrote it. The reader doesn’t. For them, they’re stepping into a completely new story with no idea where you’ll take them. This always boosts me up a bit, gets me excited about the fact that I’m in control of this story. I love that feeling!
Rebecca’s latest book – A Home In Sunset Bay, is out on 9th Feb 2016 and you can pre-order it by clicking here.