Top 10 Writing Tips by Morton Gray
Welcome to week 13 of our Top 10 Writing Tips 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.
Next up for the challenge is author Morton Gray.
Morton lives with her husband, two sons and Lily, the tiny white dog, in Worcestershire, U.K. She has been reading and writing fiction for as long as she can remember, penning her first attempt at a novel aged fourteen. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors.
Her debut novel The Girl on the Beach was published after she won the Choc Lit Publishing Search for a Star competition. This story follows a woman with a troubled past as she tries to unravel the mystery surrounding her son’s new headteacher, Harry Dixon. The book is available as a paperback and e-book.
Morton’s second book for Choc Lit The Truth Lies Buried is another romantic suspense novel, The book tells the story of Jenny Simpson and Carver Rodgers as they uncover secrets from their past. This book is available as an e-book, paperback and audiobook.
Christmas at Borteen Bay is Morton’s first Christmas novella. It is set in her fictional seaside town of Borteen and follows the story of Pippa Freeman, who runs the Rose Court Guesthouse with her mother, and local policeman Ethan Gibson, as they unravel a family secret as Christmas approaches.
Morton previously worked in the electricity industry in committee services, staff development and training. She has a Business Studies degree and is a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Reiki Master. She also has diplomas in Tuina acupressure massage and energy field therapy. She enjoys crafts, history and loves tracing family trees. Having a hunger for learning new things is a bonus for the research behind her books.
Morton’s Top Ten Tips:
- When you first start to write take the time to experiment – write fiction, poems, memoirs, prose. Try writing with different tenses, from different points of view, try different genres – historical, contemporary, fantasy, futuristic, etc. Play around to find out your own style, your unique voice, who the writer inside of you actually is.
- Learn the words you overuse. We all have them! When you’ve finished a piece of work search for these words and change the ones you’ve repeated too often.
- Recognise when you are avoiding finishing a piece of work – you will probably discover an obsession with housework or shopping – look out for the signs and get yourself back on track – timed writing is quite a good cure for this.
- Realise that it is always easier to start a new piece of writing than to finish one that has become a bit tricky – persevere!
- When your piece of work gets to that tricky stage explore alternative ways to proceed. A spider diagram is really useful to explore your options, but sometimes you will need to walk away for a while to allow your brain to work on the problem subconsciously while you do something else.
- Read your work aloud. There is something about hearing your words that allows you to find errors more easily. If you use Microsoft Word the new version has a read back feature which is absolutely brilliant.
- Enter competitions. This is a good discipline because you will have a deadline and probably conditions you need to meet in the piece of work. Writing magazines usually have details of competitions in them. I am particularly fond of competitions, because I found getting shortlisted in them encouraged me to keep going and eventually, I got my first publishing contract on the back of a competition win with Choc Lit.
- Keep learning. Read a lot. Write a lot. Go on courses. Writing conferences are fantastic for workshops. I’m a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, but there are associations for poetry, crime writing, historical writing and many more.
- Find your tribe, be that a writing group or an online group or maybe a couple of fellow writers. The writing life definitely has ups and downs and you will need like-minded people to share the highs and the lows.
- Be yourself in your writing, don’t try to be someone else. Authentic writing will always shine through.
Huge thanks to Morton for sharing her top tips with us. If you want to check out her books then you can connect with Morton on her website www.mortonsgray.com, or via
Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/MortonSGray
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mortonsgray
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/morton_s_gray