If you’re reading this blog, chances are you are a writer. Chances are you feel there is a book inside you. And chances are that book would be a novel. I can’t say I grew up writing stories like so many authors do, but I did grow up reading voraciously, like so many writers do.
I did have a growing feeling from high school on that I wanted to write a novel. Over the years all I did was dream about it, and in my dreams my novel was romantic suspense. I had a vivid imagination for things that could happen. I always thought I’d put those things in a book.
But something happened on my way to writing my romantic suspense. I took my mother to visit a lighthouse named after our ancestor and I became intrigued not only with the history, but with the hopes, dreams and motivations of my ninth great-grandparents. I studied what was known about Barnabas Horton and wondered about Mary Horton, about whom little was known.
A story began to jumble around in my thoughts. It became my passion to tell her story. I was fortunate to work for a literary agent and she gave me the best advice I could ever have. And I’d like to pass that on to you.
1. She told me read at least twenty novels in the genre I wanted to write in. How would I know what historical romance was, if I’d never read historical romance? This one was easy for me as an avid reader. But she told me I needed to read the books with an eye to why I loved the story, or why I didn’t. What in it worked for me, or why did something make me want to close the book.
2. Join a writer’s group, either locally or online. For me, that was American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).
3. Study the craft. You must study to be a writer, much like a scientist, an artist, or an opera singer must study. Recommended are community college classes, online classes, and writer’s conferences that offer workshops. I was surprised to learn there were rules other than grammar and spelling for writing a novel. I was surprised, too, to learn that the rules about commas and apostrophes could actually change.
With those three things in mind, you need to find yourself a comfortable space and write. Write from your heart, write with your passion. Don’t go for trends or what you think is the next hot genre. Write what you love.
Rebecca DeMarino’s debut novel, A PLACE IN HIS HEART, book one of The Southold Chronicles, releases June 3 from Revell. It is a historical romance based on Mary and Barnabas Horton, her ninth great-grandparents, set in 1600s Southold, Long Island. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and, when not writing, she enjoys family and genealogy, travel, reading, running, baking, and gardening. Rebecca is represented by Greg Johnson of WordServe Literary Agency.
You can contact Rebecca online at these sites:
Contributor to: http://colonialquills.blogspot.com/