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Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Words of Wisdom

A month or two ago I was seeking some words of wisdom to include in my new book – Become a Writer – A Step by Step Guide which I was putting the final touches to.  I think inspirational quotes from other authors are always interesting to read and I wanted to put some quotes and tips into each chapter along with the writing exercises I'd worked out for readers to do.

Happily, quite a few fellow authors very kindly provided me with some wonderful quotes that are now all in the new book which came out just a couple of weeks ago. It's published in paperback by Greenstream Publishing and will also be out as an ebook very soon.

I was so impressed with the great quotes which 15 different authors kindly wrote especially for the book that I'm more than glad that I asked today's writers for their advice rather than delving into the archives for words of encouragement from long gone famous names.

For example, author and poet Andy Seed suggests this advice for writers:
"Go to your local library, find the shelves covering your genre and pick five books at random. For each one, read the opening few pages and write down three things that make you want to read on."

And children's author Karen King offers these words of advice:
"Don't settle for the first idea you get, use it as a springboard for your story and tweak it, stretch it, play with it until you get something really strong and original."

While novelist and playwright Bill Kirton says:
"When you write, you're putting yourself on the page. Your manipulation of ideas, your choice of words, the fluidity of your text - all these things reflect your intellectual abilities. In other words, they demonstrate the quality of your thinking. Think of writing as performing two main functions: giving shape to your thoughts, and communicating those thoughts to others."

I do enjoy reading quotes by writers on writing and the internet is a great source for these. Some seem pretty archaic and pompous while some of them are quite amusing. So I thought I'd share these ones which I came across which made me smile. Hope they bring a smile to your faces too.

“There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.”
W. Somerset Maugham.

“Writers are a little below the clowns and a little above the trained seals.”
John Steinbeck.

“I love being a writer, what I can't stand is the paperwork.”
Peter de Vries.

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.”
Robert Bach

“Write without pay until somebody offers to pay you. If nobody offers within three years, sawing wood is what you were intended for.”
Mark Twain.

“Writing books is the closest men ever come to childbearing.”
Norman Mailer.

“What no wife of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he's staring out of the window.”
Burton Rascoe.

“The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes.”
Agatha Christie.

“Lower your standards and keep writing.”
William Stafford.

You can find some great words of wisdom from the likes of Simon Cheshire, Jan Needle and Roz Morris in my book:  Become a Writer – A Step by Step Guide by Ann Evans, published by Greenstream Publishing. ISBN 978-1907670244

Amazon link:

Please visit my website at: www.annevansbooks.co.uk

Friday, 3 August 2012


My new book
Had a lovely surprise today when I popped into Waterstones, my latest book, Become a Writer – A Step by Step Guide was there on the shelves. I knew it was out but I hadn't actually seen a copy yet, but there it was in all its colourful glory!

It was just so nice to be able to pick it up, feel its glossy cover and flick through the pages. It was bigger than I thought it was going to be, and I don't think I could have felt more delighted.

This is book number 13, but forget superstition, this book feels very special because it's something I've been wanting to write for quite some time.

Up until recently I haven't felt qualified, if you like, to write a book on 'how to write'. Then a couple of years ago I began running writing courses which people seemed to like. Also workshops in schools have taken off and I discovered that I really like giving tips and advice on writing. So it seemed logical to put a book together covering all the many aspects of writing with all the perils and pitfalls that can be avoided.

Looking back at my early writing days when I hadn't a clue how to make a start on a story – and worse, to figure out why my work was being rejected, if it hadn't been for other writers sharing their knowledge and experiences through their 'how to' books, and giving talks and running workshops, I would never have improved.

I wonder if anyone else remembers the great writing seminars that used to be run by Freelance Market News back in the 1980s? The wonderful day-long seminars were always held in Manchester and usually had about four different speakers. I used to come away from there feeling inspired.

More recently being a member of the Scattered Authors Society (SAS) has resulted in some fantastic seminars and lots of opportunities to get advice from the other Sassies. Who said writing was a lonely and solitary business?

Years ago I was a probationer with The Romantic Novelist's Association and remember a lovely two-day event held in Bournmouth. I think it was there that I saw and heard Mills & Boon writer Mary Wibberley. If ever a woman inspired an up and coming writer it was her. 

 With children's books taking the front seat over recent years it's taken me a few years to get any romances published but finally A Tropical Affair has been published by My Weekly Pocket Novels, and is now out as an ebook – and soon to be published in hard back. And Champagne Harvest comes out in a People's Friend novella on September 6th.
 So thank you Mary and all the other authors who share their knowledge so willingly. I just hope that my Become a WriterA Step by Step Guide will prove to be a stepping stone for other budding writers.

Become a Writer – A Step by Step Guide by Ann Evans, published by Greenstream Publishing. ISBN 978-1907670244

Amazon link: