January is the month when we make big promises to ourselves about what we’re going to do in this brand new year.
It feels as if we’re starting with a clean-slate, all the mistakes of the old year wiped away and it’s a chance to begin again, do something different, change our lives. How many of us have started a new year with the resolution that this is the year we’ll write a book, I wonder?
I know that I did that on a regular basis back in the day before I was published. It was harder then. There were very few books about how-to write. There was no internet where you could go for advice, no opportunity chat to authors, take a class.
When I wrote the first books that were rejected, I was on my own. I wrote three books — every word of 55,000 words — before I discovered that three chapters were enough. I don’t regret all that effort. Finishing a book is important. Imagine impressing an editor with your first three chapters and then having to finish the book if you had never done it before?
The only feedback I had was from the editors who read my early efforts. I still have the letters – they are very precious to me. Kindly editors told me what was wrong, pointed me in the direction of writers I should read — Sara Craven, Elizabeth Oldfield — and said they would be happy to read anything else I wrote, but there was no solid advice.
It’s more than twenty years since I received “the call”. I’ve published more than sixty books, won awards and had a wonderful career. It’s time to pay it forward, and Liz Fielding’s Little Book of Writing Romance is the book I wish I’d had when I first started writing. A primer. A book that helps the new writer to translate the story in her head into the written word.
How to grab your reader on the first page, tackle conflict, dig deep for emotion. How to give your reader a hero and heroine who had a life before your book begins, who are meant to be together — who don’t just fall in love because you put them together in a book — and who your reader can imagine having a life after they read the last page.
Real people, taking the journey of their lives.