Thrilled to be hosting today’s stop on Amanda Robson’s blog tour for ‘Obsession’! Are you obsessed yet? Amanda Robson has written a guest post about the 5 (and a 1/2) things that she wishes she knew when she started writing, just for us. Enjoy!
Before that though, please find all the details of her brand new book!
One evening, a wife asks her husband a question: who else would you go for, if you could?
It is a simple question – a little game – that will destroy her life.
Carly and Rob are a perfect couple. They share happy lives with their children and their close friends Craig and Jenny. They’re lucky. But beneath the surface, no relationship is simple: can another woman’s husband and another man’s wife ever just be good friends?
Little by little, Carly’s question sends her life spiralling out of control, as she begins to doubt everything she thought was true. Who can she trust? The man she has promised to stick by forever, or the best friend she has known for years? And is Carly being entirely honest with either of them?
5 (and a ½) Things I Wish I knew When I started Writing
- It’s all about the story, and every story needs conflict. Don’t include any scenes that don’t move the story forward, and always remember that every scene needs to contain conflict.
- Speech in a novel is not like real speech. No way. To begin with I used to make conversations as real as possible – but real conversation is only interesting sometimes. Speech needs to be more ‘West Wing’ than polite conversation. Think about it. Much of the time polite conversation is padded out with fillers, that are interesting to you when you are talking to your friends, but are boring for a reader. For example,
‘How are you?’
‘How was your journey?’
The reader does not need to know that the tube was six minutes late.
Cut out unnecessary conversation fillers as much as possible. Heighten all conversation. Over-egg it so that the characters seem endlessly pithy and witty. Never repeat in conversation something that the reader already knows. Every conversation, like every scene, needs to pull the story forwards. Every conversation, like every scene, needs conflict.
- The writing strength is in the verb. Use adjectives sparingly. This is probably one of the first things you will be told on any writing course and at first it is hard to believe. It is true though and eventually I got used to rarely using them. Remember the advice is sparingly – not never. It is great fun when you do. Like sprinkling sugar, or salt, across your food, it adds to the taste and most of us love it. But too much ruins rather than enhances.
- If you are passionate about writing you are probably a creative thinker. That is what a lot of us have in common. So, if you have a vivid imagination, treasure it. I really mean it, treasure it. A lot of people can write well. Only some can write well and make up an interesting story.
- Have a simple structure to hook your writing on. My early novels failed because I was trying to interweave too many different threads that didn’t mesh. It frustrated me for years. The basic structure needs to be as logical as a maths equation. Balanced. It needs to add together and work.
5a Listen to others’ comments about your work but retain your self-confidence. If you listen too hard to everyone else and act on their every suggestion you will lose the purpose, the thread of your novel. You will end up with everybody else’s hotchpotch, not your own well-considered work. Move through the noise around you by listening to your own gut feeling and building on it.
What a fantastic guest post! Huge thank you to Amanda Robson for sharing her tricks of the trade. Most certainly useful for any budding writers out there!
The tour isn’t over yet, all the other bloggers on the tour are listed below: