Joanne Harris became a well-known literary figure for her Whitbread-shortlisted novel, Chocolat, the tale of Vianne Rocher and her daughter who open a chocolate shop in a small French town, thereby changing the lives of the townsfolk forever. The book was turned into a film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. Joanne’s other novels include Sleep, Pale Sister, Coastliners, Holy Fools, Blackberry Wine, Jigs & Reels and Gentlemen & Players. She lives in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, with her husband and daughter. Joanne took time out of her busy schedule to give us her top 5 writing tips.Joanne’s top 5 writing tips
- Know the odds. Remember that over 100,000 new titles come out in England every year. For every one of these, agents and publishers read and reject over 100 manuscripts. These are the odds against you. Don’t be put off – but don’t expect instant success either.
- Enjoy yourself. Believe me, it shows. If you don’t enjoy what you’re writing, no reader will.
- Get out there. Everything you see and do informs your writing. The more you have experienced, seen, read, learnt, the more ideas you’ll have. No-one learns much by sitting at a desk waiting for ‘the Muse’ to clock in.
- No clones. Don’t waste time trying to copy someone else’s style just because you think it’s in vogue. Chances are that by the time you finish the book, the wave will have passed anyway.
- Leave your ego at the door. Be humble. Accept both praise and criticism with an equally open mind, and act upon them where necessary.
Visit Joanne Harris’s website