Romantic Novelists' Association

Hints And Tips For New Writers #3

12 March 2018

Here are ten tips for March. 

1. Read more fiction than you write.

2. Don’t lock yourself into one genre (in reading or writing). Even if you have a favourite genre, step outside of it occasionally so you don’t get too weighed down by tropes.

3. Dissect and analyse stories you love from books, movies, and television to find out what works in storytelling and what doesn’t.

4. Remember the mantra of all writers: butt in the chair, fingers on the keyboard. Begin.

5. Don’t write for the market. Tell the story that’s in your heart.

6. You can make an outline before, during, or after you finish your first rough draft. It will provide you with a roadmap, which is a powerful tool to have at your disposal.

7. On the other hand, you don’t always need an outline. Sometimes you can fly by the seat of your pants! But for me, plotting saves time.

8. Some of the best fiction comes from real life. Jot down stories that interest you, whether you hear them from a friend or read them in a news article.

9. Real life is also a great source of inspiration for characters. Look around at your friends, family, and coworkers. Magnify and mix the strongest aspects of their personalities, and you’re on your way to crafting a cast of believable characters.

10. Explore the characteristics, key events, and situations which compose the essentials of human existence, such as birth, growth, emotion, aspiration, conflict, or mortality and apply them to your writing.

Happy writing!
Sheila Riley.




Sheila joined the RNA in 2004 as a new writer. Since then she has written best-selling sagas as AnnieGroves. She’s a member of the North West Chapter of the RNA and loves to catch up with writer friends at the regular Southport lunches.