Maureen Thorpe is one of two authors that are Mountain Hub members! It is incredibly fun to have her book, Tangle of Time available in our front library to show people and lend out for them to read.
We asked Maureen if she had any tips to share for anyone wishing to write more, perhaps author a book, or even just get more of their ideas down on paper.
Here’s what Maureen shared…
I had a dream – a real dream. When I woke up, I began to write ‘Tangle of Time’. Before becoming a writer, I was a nurse, a running coach, a yoga teacher and a Shakespeare addict. The dream and Shakespeare gave me my characters and setting – a midwife, a longbowman, and Yorkshire – where I was born.
‘Tangle of Time’ is about magic; about a young woman discovering she is from a long line of witches and scared of her power. Did the creativity spell send her tumbling through time, or is someone else in control? A medieval Yorkshire village is a dangerous place for a witch from today’s world, especially when she investigates murder.
When I first sat down to write, I was confident that words would simply flow and my book would be written. How wrong I was! I discovered that creative writing is a learned craft. Yes, one's imagination plays a big part, but creating tension through conflict, building interesting characters, developing a believable plot, building a cadence that keeps the reader turning the pages eager to get to the next chapter, that is the craft of writing.
Some writers plot their novel from the beginning, chapter by chapter. J.K. Rowling plotted the whole series of Harry P. from the beginning. Not me. I am a pantser, writing by the seat of my pants! When I sit down to write - and it's good to have a daily routine - I read what I wrote last time: that gives me a sense of continuity. I then haltingly start to type, having learned that if I am present, the Muse will visit.
There is much advice on-line that tells a newbie writer to start the story and keep writing until you type 'The End'; don't stop to do research or alter what you have written. That approach doesn't work for me. I let the research drive my story so I write and research, research and write; however - warning - research can be a big black hole down which one can disappear.
When my first draft is completed and I accept it is a first draft, full of errors, I go back and start again. Now is the time to cut out wordiness, look for flow, kill your favourite bits if they do not advance the story line. Go through again, at least three more times, check spelling, punctuation, etc. Find some outside eyes to read and give feedback, not loved ones! Get a professional edit. Start the process of finding an agent or publisher, or self-publish. Phew!
And then there is marketing...
There you have it! Is there a book inside you? Give it a go. There is so much advice on-line for new writers. Be open to learning.
More information on Maureen and her book, Tangle of Time: