Friday, 6 January 2012

A New Year – A New You

So Christmas came and went, the clocks chimed midnight all over the world and all the decorations have gone back in the loft. You’re back at work/school/college, back in the old routines. And how do you feel? Fat, tired and a bit sick from too much cake? Yeah, me too.

You know what? I couldn't eat another thing.

But I have a solution for you and it doesn’t involve joining a gym or eating more fibre. It’s much more simple and you can even do it sitting down: start your book. That’s it, that’s all you have to do. Well, it’s probably a good idea to avoid eating chocolate biscuits and go on the occasional brisk walk too, but studies have shown that doing something positive has a far more beneficial effect on your well-being than any number of diets.

The subtitle of Sharp Teeth is ‘On Writing A Vampire Book’, but of course, your book can be about cowboys or wizards or just ordinary people with ordinary problems told in an extraordinary way. It doesn’t matter as long as you are passionate about your subject matter. I happen to love the vampire genre, that’s why I write about them. In fact, when I began writing By Midnight, I didn’t really need to do any research as I already knew it inside out.

But if you love horses or antiques or men with beards, go for it. As long as you’ve got a story to tell, the book will come – you just have to start it. Now I know it’s daunting starting something new, but it’s the perfect time to start (New Year’s resolution, bank account empty from the festive season, very, very cold outside) and you’re not going to be doing it on your own: I’m going to help.

Mia to the rescue (that's me behind the Hoff)

Think of this blog as your very own creative writing course. I won’t be able to read your stuff – I have my own stuff to write and a very strict editor who takes a dim view of missed deadlines – but I will answer your questions. Anything you want to know: ‘How do I do dialogue?’ ‘What shall I call my characters?’ ‘How do I find an agent?’, put it in the comments box at the bottom of each post and I’ll do my best to address it in subsequent posts.

Come on, you don’t get that kind of offer from Stephen King, do you? So no excuses. It’s a new year and it’s time you started something new, something that’s just for you.

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