I’m delighted to be welcoming Ella Harper today as part of the blog tour for If I Fall.
If you’re new to picking up your pen (or considering it) you should find the writing tips that Ella Harper is sharing useful or as a reader, a peek into how it can be for an author interesting 🙂
Here’s more about If I Fall:
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 528.0 KB
Print Length: 271 pages
Publisher: Canelo (22 Jan. 2018)
Four university friends, four devastating secrets.
I’m really sorry for what I’m about to do…
It’s fifteen years since graduation, and Connie, Jonas, JJ and Layla have managed to remain close despite the odds. They’ve supported each other, but are some things too big for friendship?
Connie is desperate to maintain the veneer of perfect family life.
Jonas is feeling the pressure at work.
Layla’s career is unravelling thanks to her ill mother.
JJ’s past is catching up with him.
When they stumble and fall, who will be there to catch them?
A truly powerful and unforgettable story of love, friendship, and real life, If I Fall is perfect for readers of Alice Peterson, Amanda Prowse and Lianne Moriarty.
Buy links for If I Fall:
Writing Advice by Ella Harper
I’m not going to claim to be an expert on exactly what captures a reader’s imagination, but after writing eight novels (four under my real name of Sasha Wagstaff and four under the pseudonym of Ella Harper), I have learnt a few things along the way. I hope these writing tips are useful!
- I know this will sound obvious, but being a writer is all about hard graft. Or easy graft, depending on how easily the words flow, but essentially it’s about sitting down and writing. So many people say to me ‘Oh, I could easily write a novel!’ and I think ‘Oh please do…it’s a lovely job.’ But they don’t. A novel simply won’t write itself. Trust me; I know. So get that blank page set up and…write.
- Find your own voice. It can be a tricky thing, finding your unique voice. Especially if you read a lot, because sometimes another author’s voice creeps in. But you have to be you.
- Ignore what’s ‘trending’ at the moment. Well. To a point. Crime is huge right now, for example but it’s just not me. Be commercial, by all means, but write what you love to write.
- Do be organised. Create a timeline. Write detailed character notes. Prepare a chapter structure. Write for a certain amount of hours each day or write a certain number of words per day, if that’s your bag. But treat it like a job. Because hopefully, one day it will be just that.
- Most writers love to read. They often don’t have time to read because they’re too busy writing (I am horribly guilty of this) – but it really helps to read other people’s words and stay current.
- Be nosy. And I mean this. Most writer’s are extremely and unhealthily interested in people. Eavesdrop in shops and cafes and restaurants and get excited about what makes people laugh, cry and reach their limits.
- Learn to take criticism. Because you will most likely get knock backs along the way, your editor will critique your work and when your books are published, someone might not like it and they will leave a lacklustre review. A thick skin is essential.
- Buy the latest copy of The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook. It is full of wonderful, invaluable advice and it has all the information you’re going to need when you’re ready to submit your work to agents.
- Submit your work according to the agent’s preferences. Don’t give them any reason to toss your previous pages into the bin.
- Lastly – enjoy writing! See it as your future job and be organised and business-like. But enjoy it. Enjoy crafting a novel, delving into your characters lives and letting your story play out. Laugh and cry with your characters and feel sad when you finish your novel. And happy that you can begin a new one. Feel exactly like your readers will feel and you’re halfway there.
Thanks for sharing your advice with us Ella. Wishing you heaps of success.
Ella Harper learned foreign languages, and imagined she might eventually get a glamorous job speaking French. After climbing her way up the banking ladder, Ella started idly mapping out the beginnings of a novel on an old laptop. When she realised her characters were more real to her than dividends and corporate actions ever could be, she left her job to become a writer.
Connect with Ella Harper
Don’t forget to check out the other hosts on tour.