10 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer
1. Write what you like to read – if you don't ever read contemporary romantic fiction, then don't attempt to write it yourself.
2. Develop a thick skin – part of being a writer is showing your work to other people and being ready to accept criticism and be prepared to change what you've written. Getting stinking reviews, as well as being rejected by agents and publishers, are just part of the life of a writer.
3. Do something writing related every day – all writers need a life away from the computer. Even when you have a full-time job/bringing up a family/other major commitments in your life, in order to be a successful writer you must write something every day.
4. Be prepared to jettison an entire manuscript however long you've spent writing it. Only the fortunate few are lucky enough to have their first book published – most of us have written half a dozen novels which never see the light of day before they produce anything publishable.
Writing is a craft – like any apprentice you must expect to spend time learning to be the best you can.
5. Take your time and don't be in too much of a hurry to send your book off to be read by an agent/editor or publisher. Put your manuscript to one side for as long as you can bear to – reading the book after a gap of time will often highlight what needs to be tightened or removed from a manuscript.
6. Be determined and be resilient. Writing is not an easy profession; I think you have to have an obsessive personality to make it work. Don't give up after a few rejected novels, keep reading and writing until you succeed.
7. Always gets your manuscript proofread by someone else. However good you are, however professional, it is impossible for a writer to see all the typos and missing words for themselves. It isn't necessary to pay for this service – any educated, literate friend can read through a book and pick up things that you've missed.
8. When you are successful be ready to offer your assistance and advice to those behind you on the ladder.
9. Be professional. What you don't know about formatting your manuscript/writing a letter to the editor or agent/social media or promotion can be gleaned from other writers, writers’ associations and from the Internet. There is no excuse for being unprofessional.
10. Remember one person's opinion is exactly that – there are millions of potential readers who could disagree with a negative review. Have confidence in yourself and your work and write what you want to write. Don't jump on the latest bandwagon – stay true to your unique voice.
World War II brings divided loyalties and tough decisions in this page turning drama from Fenella Miller.
Hannah Austen-Bagshaw’s privileged background can’t stop her falling in love with working-class pilot, Jack, but Hannah has a secret. Torn between her duty and her humanity, she is sheltering a young German pilot knowing she risks being arrested as a traitor. Hannah’s worst fears are realised when Jack finds out what she has done and their love begins to unravel.
Will her betrayal be too much for Jack to forgive?
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Genre – Historical fiction
Rating – PG
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