Writing tips from bestselling indie author Rachel Abbott
As the deadline approaches for the £20,000 Kindle UK Storyteller Award, Rachel shares her top five writing tips
Since she started writing in retirement, Rachel Abbott has sold millions of copies using Kindle Direct Publishing. KDP arranged for Rachel to give Writers Online readers her advice for anyone thinking of entering the Kindle Storyteller Award or setting out as an independent author:
1. Find a special time when you can write undisturbed. For me, it becomes a part of the day I look forward to, especially if I’ve have got the rest of the inevitable administration work out of the way, because – particularly if you are an independently published author – there is a lot to do in addition to simply writing.
2. Set yourself goals. Writing is quite a lonely experience so to stay motivated I set myself goals, such as the number of scenes to outline or words to write each day. I consider writing to be a job – not something I can pick up and put down at will, and that keeps me focused. It’s the best job in the world, though.
3. Plot and plan your narrative before you embark on the story. I use brainstorming tools and writing software such as Scrivener to organise my thoughts. Even then, the plot can change dramatically before I get to the end, but once I have the structure in place and I’m confident that it works, it’s hard to run out of inspiration.
4. Be professional. You are up against writers who are published through traditional means, and their books have a professional team behind them. The book that you publish has to look just as good as anybody else’s. The fact that you do not have a team of designers, editors, and publicists behind you means that whilst you have complete control over the process you do have to manage everything from the editing, to the cover design, to the marketing of your book. It is often worth thinking about getting professional help, particularly with regards to the editing process.
5. Carry something with you to record your thoughts. I think Agatha Christie had a good point when she said, “The best time for planning a book is when you’re doing the dishes.” If you have an idea for a story in your head, it’s with you always – whatever you are doing. So just because you’re not actually sitting down and writing at any particular time, it doesn’t stop you from plotting, or thinking about your characters. Always carry something with you so that you can record those thoughts – either on paper or by dictating them. They arrive fleetingly, and sometimes they’re hard to grasp hold of – even in the middle of the night!
Kindle Direct Publishing is fast, free and easy and authors can receive up to 70 per cent royalties for their work, making it a lucrative choice for authors if their books become a success.
The Kindle UK Storyteller Award competition closes on 19th May and all submissions must be over 5,000 words.
For more information and full T&Cs, visit www.amazon.co.uk/storyteller.
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