Denise Ryan is a thriller writer whose books will keep you on the edge of your seats. Her other books include The Hit, Backlash, Betrayed and Dead Keen. Her most recent novel, Blood Knot is out now to buy. She lives in the Netherlands with her husband, Peter. Denise kindly took time out from penning her next book to give us her top 5 writing tips.
Denise’s top 5 writing tips
- Keep up the pace. It’s vital for me to keep up momentum, certainly with a first draft. That means trying (note the heavy emphasis on that little word) to write every day. If I leave it too long I feel bored, frustrated and guilty and find it a real pain to get back into the story.
- Use some wise words. I’m one of those sad acts who love motivational quotes. Current favourites are: * ‘Gratitude is a sickness for dogs’. Remember this gem when dealing with agents and publishers! * ‘There are always ten better things to do than give up’. (Don’t know who said this, but they’re right on the money) * ‘There’s nothing wrong with shooting as long as the right people get shot.’ (Dirty Harry Callahan). Well hey, I am a crime writter!
- Find your own way. Write the way that works for you. When I’m writing, I like to have a back flap blurb-type synopsis, know a few major things, and discover the rest as I write. Other people prefer to plan in detail. Some agents and publishers demand long, intricate synopses but if you’re not happy to do one I recommend you resist; apart from the fact it’ll waste your time because you won’t stick to it anyway, it will waste vital energy and might cause a nasty block. Worst of all, it can extinguish your burning desire to write the story. And burning desire is what you need most!
- Remember: less is more. You need to have plenty going on in your story, but not so much that it starts to seem melodramatic and pantomime-like. (I write from bitter experience here). Remember the brilliant Porridge episode that revolved around a tin of pineapple chunks?
- Write to please yourself. Writers often get told they should have an ‘ideal reader’ (IR) in mind. I’ve anguished long and hard, but the only IR that presents to me is someone who can read and who likes to buy books – preferably mine! If you don’t write to please yourself you won’t please anyone else. Fellini said, ‘A little compromise here, and at what point is the soul lost? Chip, chip, chip. Crack.’
Find out more about Denise Ryan on her Amazon page at: Denise Ryan Books