'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 8 February 2011

Writing Tips - by Jackie French

Need some tips for your own writing?

Who better to provide advice than Jackie French!

  • A great book will be published. A good book has a chance.
  • Some books are 97% great and 3% amateur - and that 3% can mean the whole book fails.
  • No amount of rewriting images and changing paragraphs will help a book if the story, theme and characters aren’t strong enough.
  • Chocolate helps.
  • THINK for at least a year before you put down a word. Your first ideas will be second hand - inspired by something you have read or heard. The more you think the more original and compelling your book will be.
  • Nearly every book I have been sent by a beginning writer has been good - but not quite good enough for a publisher to accept it. In nearly all cases the writing was superb. The story simply wasn’t strong enough.
  • Picture books cost a lot - and are the hardest market to break into.
  • Forget last year’s genre success. Work at what fascinates you. The reader can sense passion - or boredom - on every page.
  • No book is ever finished. It can always be made better. But there does come a time where you need to get rid of it or run screaming around the house.
  • Editors are your friends. If they say a bit doesn’t work, they’re correct.
  • Writer’s block is often when you suspect your story isn’t strong enough - but don’t have the courage to trash it and begin it again.
  • Writing is hard work. It’s also the best work I know.
  • If it isn’t hard, then get your best friend to lock the door. You don’t get out of there till you’ve written at least a page of the best work you are capable of.
  • The harder it is, the better it will be, and the more joy too. (That goes for bringing up kids too.)
  • The greatest joy in life is working hard at what you love.