Although I don't read a lot of the genres Celia writes in I've been a big fan of hers ever since Witch Child came out back when I was just a nipper. I devoured it during my reading periods at school and have always loved her style. When I heard she was writing a contemporary YA novel I was excited in a major way!
Celia Rees' Top Writing Tips
1. Read as much as possible. You can learn valuable lessons from other writers about all aspects of writing, from creating character, pacing the plot, to building atmosphere. I don’t know many writers who are not avid readers.
2. Keep a notebook to jot down ideas, observations, odd bits of description. You never know when or where inspiration might strike!
3. Start an ideas file – collect and keep pictures, newspaper clippings, notes, postcards, photographs – anything that you find interesting, that might spark a story, or is related to something you are writing.
4. Keep any writing that you do, no matter how short or fragmented. You never know when it might come in useful.
5. When you think you are ready to start something, make a big spider diagram setting down of all your ideas and see if you can order a story from it.
6. Remember plots work by thinking about what could happen to these people (characters), at this time, in this place (setting). Plots develop by following cause and effect. If this happens, then that will happen. Everything should happen for a reason, even in a fantasy, and the plot has to be believable. Make sure your story makes sense and that the links are strong.
Thank you so much for stopping by, Celia. I'm definitely going to be trying out a few of those tips on my own writing - especially the one about keeping an ideas file. I just seem to have boxes full of newspaper clippings and pictures at the moment so I need to get myself organised, pronto!
For more information about Celia and for your chance to win a copy of This is Not Forgiveness, have a look at the links below:
Biography: Celia Rees studied history at university before going on to teach English in comprehensive schools. She has used her passion for the past and her love of literature to create much-loved novels such as the highly acclaimed Witch Child and its sequel Sorceress, as well as Pirates!, Sovay and The Fool’s Girl. Her new book, This is Not Forgiveness, is published in February 2012 and is available in paperback and eBook.
Giveaway: Bloomsbury have very kindly given me a signed copy of This is Not Forgiveness to one reader of Writing from the Tub. Entry is restricted to UK residents only and your address details will be passed on to Bloomsbury, who will be sending out the prize. The contest will run until February 16th 2012 so what are you waiting for? Get entering!
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTD1w7nKYD0