Rebecca Thornton’s new novel, The Exclusives, a psychological thriller set in a girls’ boarding school, is high on our TBR pile this month. Rebecca joins us now with a few of her top writing tips.
2. Get the first draft down. You can tinker afterwards and polish the sentences when you've got the story on paper.
3. If a voice isn't quite working but you feel it's the story you want to tell, try writing from a different point of view or a different tense. It might jolt something into place. When I was writing The Exclusives, I started off in third-person. I tried so hard to be literary that it just ended up sounding pretentious and idiotic. Someone suggested I try first-person and that's when it all clicked and I could just tell the story without thinking too much about the flow.
4. Location. If you find you can't write, or are having trouble getting inspiration, change where you write. I used to work in this cafe near my house but I felt so guilty spending money on teas and coffees that I was getting totally distracted. I moved to the library and bought my own thermos flask in with me and this helped me a lot.
5. Characters lead a story. For years, I made the mistake of thinking about a plot and then trying to find characters to fit in it. When I realised that characters tell the story, the plot followed much more easily.