This blog post originally appeared on the Romance Festival website. The Romance Festival is an online literary festival which took place between the 7th & 8th of June 2014 and allowed people to meet their favourite romantic fiction authors, chat to other readers and writers, and get the lowdown on the best in romance, all without leaving the comfort of their own homes! You can follow the Romance Festival on Twitter here.
Liz Fenwick’s Writing Tips:
- Have a hero with whom you can fall in love. I have to love the hero, if I don't how can I expect my heroine or reader to?
- Think conflict…that’s what makes the reader turn the page. Conflict is shouting, it’s when characters have different goals or what they need is different from what they want.
- Try to write something every day but accept that sometimes this isn't possible. Do not beat yourself up…sometimes the laundry does come first and so does dinner (except when a deadlines is approaching!)
- As writers we have strengths and weaknesses. Take time to improve your weakest areas until they shine as much as your strengths. Never stop learning your craft.
- In twenty minutes a day you can write a novel in a year. Five minutes free…a scene can appear. Any spare time can be used. Grab them. My writing time is always disturbed by family and travel, but I embrace this rather than resent it. I do my best writing when I'm stuck on a plane or a train.
- Listen to your work. I use text to voice software so that the computer reads it to me. This gives you separation from your work and makes editing easier.
- Writer’s Block – egg timer. Set it for twenty minutes and say you will only write for that time and it doesn't matter what you write. It works!
- Read, read, read. Read not just in your own genre, read the best sellers, read literary, read history, read biography, read magazines and the news papers. They all tell stories- just in slightly different ways. From this reading you will learn what works and what doesn’t. You will read books that you wished you wrote (and when you do – analyze to see why you felt that way then discover how you can make your writing better). You will read books and wonder what others saw in it - then analyze it. Fill your writing ‘well’ from the women’s magazines and the latest news.
- Be kind to yourself. No book is ever perfect…even the ones we hold up as perfect. Your first draft is for you only, possibly the second and the third too. Writing a book is not a race. Take a breath and enjoy the journey. Accept criticism. Develop your inner critic but contain it as well. Learn to trust yourself.