Today is my stop on the blog tour to celebrate the release of The Block by Ben Oliver, the sequel to The Loop! I have the utter joy of being the final stop on the tour and Ben is here to share 5 writing tips for aspiring writers! Check out his advice below!
Luka in a prisoner once again. But this time it’s a fate worse than death. In the Block, he must toggle between enduring an Energy Harvest for twelve hours of the day and surviving complete immobilization. The only semblance of relief is the Sane Zone, created to keep prisoners from going completely mad. In this virtual reality, the prisoners live out their fantasies of life outside. But for Luka, it’s different. Happy is determined to find out the location of his friends, who disappeared after the Battle of Midway Park. But can Luka battle the descent into madness long enought to stop Happy’s manipulation tactics and keep his friends’ location safe? Another prison break is the only chance to protect the Missing. And as reality becomes increasingly scrambled on the outside, it’ll take an army to stop Galen from carrying out his plans.
TOP FIVE WRITING TIPS FOR ASPIRING WRITERS
I’m going to ruin this list straightaway with my first piece of advice
Stop looking for advice on how to write.
Let me clarify: one of the things I used to do all the time when I was writing, was stop mid-chapter, and in a moment of massive self-doubt, Google advice on how to write. The thing is, I knew how to write, I was good at it, I just doubted myself at every turn and needed someone to tell me that I was doing the right thing, but in the end, I learned that no amount of time spent re-reading the same old write what you know columns was ever going to lend more to my writing than the act of writing itself. Though, if you are just beginning, then read away! Learn about plot structure and pacing and character development, these things are important, but once you know them – stop reading about them, and start doing them.
Do it because you love it.
I see and hear so many people talking about how much they despise writing. The weird thing about it is – they’re all writers! I want to say ‘So why on Earth do you do it?’ but, usually I nod along and smile because I’m a terrified introvert! I guess there must be a few people out there that write because they’re great at it, and it makes them so much money that quitting would be like throwing away a winning lottery ticket, but I write because I love to write. It can be difficult at times, but that only makes the sweet times sweeter.
Just keep going.
Some practical advice for number 3. When you are writing, especially a first draft, just keep writing. You may have an inkling that your pacing is off, or that a scene needs to be cut, but – for now – just write! You can make changes later on, but get that first draft down on paper!
Just keep going!
I know this seems like I’ve written the same advice twice, but I haven’t! I’ve done a clever writery thing! This time, the advice applies to your career as a writer. You WILL receive rejections by the bucketload, you WILL feel like the whole industry is a club that you’re not part of, you WILL doubt yourself and your ability to write almost daily. But I’m convinced that every successful writer is just a writer that didn’t give up. (Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely luck involved, but you can’t get lucky if you’re not in the game).
I know it’s obvious, but you HAVE to read a lot to be a good writer. And it if you read that piece of advice and groan, then writing isn’t for you. Why would you even want to write if you don’t want to read? I would also advise that you read outside of your preferred genre too, and read books by as many different authors as you can, you’ll be amazed at the variety of writing styles. Reading is always the most fun writing lesson.
THE LOOP and THE BLOCK by Ben Oliver are out now, each priced £7.99. Read chapter 1 of THE LOOP here.
A massive thank you to Ben for his guest post and to Chicken House for inviting me to be on this blog tour! Check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour and get yourself a copy of both of these books: