Before I launch into my Ten for Tuesday, the wonderful Keris Stainton was so chuffed over all the comments on my review of Della Says: OMG that she's offering a signed copy of the book to one lucky winner (open to international people, too!). If you'd like a chance to win, just leave a comment on this post. I'll choose the winner by 4 p.m. GMT tomorrow. Thanks, Keris!
Today's Ten for Tuesday is a round-up of the top ten things I learned at the recent Romantic Novelists' Association conference. There were some amazing tidbits that really hit home with me -- some great 'aha!' moments.
So in no particular order, here we go!
1. When creating characters, think about their worst fault and their greatest quality. How do they connect? (For example, being work-obsessed can be both a good and a bad thing). Many thanks to Julie Cohen for that one; she helped lift me out of my Sunday morning grump and actually got me writing!
2. Keep your receipts! Keep your receipts! Keep your receipts! Who knew you could claim for things like books and laptops as long as you're working towards a profitable enterprise? Thanks to Kate Harrison for drilling that into my head (in a nice way, of course!).
3. Think of your writing as a career, not just as a one-book wonder. Another gem from Kate, who urged us to think beyond the first book we have published to what we hope to accomplish as a whole. Do you have more than one book in you? What are you looking to accomplish from your writing?
4. Think of conflict like an onion. Deal with one layer, then peel it away to reveal another layer until the core problem is exposed. Oh, how I love this analogy! It's already helped me rewrite a few scenes I wasn't happy with. Thank you, Kate Walker!
5. Don't be afraid to ask. The worst that can happen is someone says no! This wonderful bit of promotional advice came self-professed media tart from Jane Wenham-Jones, whose book So You Wanna Be a Writer was the first book on writing I ever read!
6. Want to reach a wide audience in one shot? Try short stories. I'd never thought of publishing short stories for some reason (I have no idea why), but Sue Moorcroft made a great point: with one short story you can reach thousands of readers! It's also a good promotional tool if you have a novel coming out.
7. Don't be apologetic about what you write. Several different people said this and I took it to heart. For some reason, a slightly apologetic note always creeps into my voice whenever I explain to people what I write. No more!
8. If you're going to wear a name-tag, make sure you take it off before your hour-long Tube journey home. I only discovered why people were staring at me after I got home.
OK, that's only eight (I'm not doing so well on the Ten for Tuesday theme lately), but there are so many great tips floating around in my head it's hard to pin them down!
Don't forget to comment for a chance to win Della Says: OMG! Happy Tuesday!