Top 10 Writing Tips by AA Abbott
Welcome to week 12 of our Top 10 Writing Tips by… feature. If you’ve missed any of the other top tip posts you can find them all HERE. Please feel free to pop over and connect with the wonderful authors who have taken part.
Learning from mentors helps us to improve and evolve in our chosen field, and I still recall the top tips given to me at the start of my writing journey. In honour of that, and to help the next generation of writers’ young and old, I started a feature whereby established authors impart their words of wisdom and share their top ten writing tips.
Next up for the challenge is AA Abbott.
Helen’s Top Ten Tips:
- Freaked by a blank page? Just write something – anything! You can always change it later.
- Join a writing group, or set one up. Go to a few if you like, to find the group that’s right for you. A supportive group will give constructive criticism when you read your work. They won’t pinch your ideas, either. I’ve met other writers who are fearful of this, yet I’ve never seen it happen.
- Read a lot, especially, in your genre. You’ll get to know what readers expect, and which writers are similar to you.
- Blog or share your book reviews on social media, so like-minded readers and writers get to know you.
- Short of inspiration? Go for a walk, or rifle through press cuttings (I keep boxes of them – anything weird that catches my eye).
- Still short of inspo? Turn to social media! It was my Twitter friends who first told me about the tunnels under Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter – I lived in the city for 20 years and never knew about them. Facebook and Twitter friends have helped me so much with book research too. Inquests, prison life, Las Vegas weddings – it’s amazing what people know.
- Meet readers, writers and other friends. Writing is a lonely business. Get away from your computer and out for a coffee if you can.
- If you’re asked to read a piece in public, rehearse. You’ll give a polished performance and you won’t exceed your allotted time. I organise story readings at a pub in Birmingham; my biggest challenge is clawing back time somewhere else when a reader overruns their slot.
- If you self-publish, make sure your book’s edited and has a great cover. The Alliance of Independent Authors has partner members who can help with both.
- Never give up. You’re bound to face setbacks – and they’ll hurt – but bounce back, and you’ll reach the sky!