The Bookmark

Dorothy Koomson

My top 5 writing tips

1. Keep going. It’s a lot harder to keep going than to give up. You’ll get a lot of knock backs, but if you believe in yourself and keep writing you’ll get there. Obviously that’s hard to do after your sixth rejection letter of the day – but just think of all those other people out there who don’t even try because they’re scared of rejection. You’ve got a lot further than them.

2. Stop talking and do it! I’m always saying this, but it’s very easy to get into the cycle of talking about a story but never committing it to paper. And, because you’ve talked about it already, part of you will feel there’s no need to write it. Let your writing do the talking.

3. Write what interests you. If you don’t write about things that you’re likely to read you’re far less likely to put your heart into the story. I think the best stories are the ones that you can feel the author believes in what they’re writing. Technically competent books are all very well, but I’ve often got to the end and felt there was nothing beyond clever language to them. And, enjoy yourself, there’s nowt worse than not loving what you’re writing.

4. Read – lots. Don’t just read what interests you, read what sells, read what doesn’t sell. Read the trade press, read other authors’ websites, read anything you can that’ll help you along the road to being published.

5. Remember . . . Opinions are like butts – everyone’s got one. In other words, don’t be tempted to do something you don’t believe in and if you have an uneasy feeling about something or someone, think twice before committing yourself. It’ll save you a lot of tears, tantrums and money later on.

Bonus Tip! Join The Society of Authors. If you do one thing to help yourself it’s to join this society. They’ll give you the best impartial advice available.