Top Ten Writing Tips by Paula Williams
Welcome to week 25 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 Paula Williams.
Paula Williams is living her dream. She’s written all her life – her earliest efforts involved blackmailing her unfortunate younger brothers into appearing in her plays and pageants. But it’s only in recent years, when she turned her attention to writing short stories and serials for women’s magazines that she discovered, to her surprise, that people with better judgement than her brothers actually liked what she wrote and were prepared to pay her for it.
Now, she writes every day in a lovely, book-lined study in her home in Somerset, where she lives with her husband and a handsome but not always obedient rescue Dalmatian called Duke. She still writes for magazines but now also writes novels. A member of both the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Crime Writers’ Association, her novels often feature a murder or two, and are always sprinkled with humour and spiced with a touch of romance.
She writes a monthly column, Ideas Store, for the writers’ magazines, Writers’ Forum
Paula’s Top 10 Writing Tips:
- Read a lot and across all genres. I know one very successful romance writer who won’t read romance while she’s writing her books. But I couldn’t do that. I’m a crime writer and love my daily fix of (fictional) crime.
- Write every day, even if it’s only a few lines. If you sit around waiting for inspiration, it will never arrive. (See tip #3)
- Use a story starter if you’re stuck. Check out writing magazines and the internet – you’ll find loads of writers’ prompts. I write a monthly column in Writers’ Forum magazine, which has a very useful and fun to use Fiction Square to get your creative juices flowing.
- Clear your workspace before you start writing. Clutter can drain the creative soul. (Confession time: I’ve just looked at my desk and, sadly, have to admit that I don’t always follow my own advice!)
- Never stop learning. I have a huge collection of how to write books which I’ve amassed over the years, many of them are in frequent use – and I still add to my collection.
- Connect with your tribe. Writing is a solitary business but thanks to social media, it doesn’t have to be. Learn how to use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook – whatever bit of social media you feel comfortable with.
- Please, please, please check your punctuation and grammar. Learn the rules if you have to. Words are your tools and your work deserves to be presented in the best possible way.
- Learn to take rejection. It’s part of being a writer, sadly. Never forget all those people who rejected J.K. Rowling!
- Polish, polish, polish. Don’t send your work out too soon. On the other hand, don’t hang on to it forever. Knowing when to let go is a fine balance – a bit like parenting really!)
- Finally,(and this is my #1 piece of advice) don’t give up. I have a sign on my desk that says “Many of life’s failures are people who didn’t realise how close to success they came when they gave up“. Don’t be one of them. Good luck and enjoy the journey.
Huge thanks to Paula for sharing her top tips with us. If you want to find out more about Paula and her books then you can connect with her here:
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/paula.williams.author.
Paula’s latest book, Rough and Deadly, is the second in her Much Winchmoor series of murder mysteries and can be found at