Download e-book It Writes Itself: A Travel Guide to Writing Fiction

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Your book will be professionally edited, copy-edited, designed, typeset and proofread. It means you have the best people in the business working with you and for you to promote your book.

OK. Let’s start with a reality check. How many submissions would Summersdale get in a year?

Being a writer in itself hardly ever makes anyone a millionaire. The book market is notoriously tough to gauge anyway, and the travel-writing market specifically is shrinking, but the books that do well become really well-loved and respected and can sometimes really take off. We print small print runs and reprint often to keep up with demand, rather than starting with a huge amount that we might end up pulping.

However, sometimes a book gets off to a slow start but builds momentum over a couple of years as it gains word-of-mouth recommendations and recognition. The submissions guidelines on our website provides all the details on how we like to receive book proposals. You can follow us on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram to to get an idea for the books we love, or you can follow my personal Twitter account where I talk about all things travel, and especially travel books, and where you can send me your questions or ideas.

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Writing Fiction

Act Two of the book is the preparation for the Games and the obstacles of the arena itself, where Katniss has to fight to survive. She faces death rather than leave Peta behind and in the Climax, defeats President Snow and wins the Games, returning to the real world of the district at the end, forever changed. If you want readers to want to spend their precious time on your book, then you have to write a character that keeps them engaged.

There are other people in the worlds of those books, but the main characters are the ones that we care about most and follow through the books and also why these became huge films as well as multi-million selling books. Your character will also shape the Point of View you write from, and this is critical because every story is different from a different perspective. The bad guy never thinks they are the bad guy, after all. What does your character want and why? How do they overcome the obstacles along the way? How are they changed as a result of the journey?

Go back to the books you love the most and you are likely to find that these are the core aspects of those stories. The Taj Mahal features in my novel, Destroyer of Worlds.

2. Prepare for more failure and criticism than you think you can deal with.

You can also think about where this will happen, otherwise known as the setting. There needs to be action that takes place somewhere specific. Game of Thrones is a great example of this. Take Jon Snow at the Wall in the North. The ice and snow bring a dark, cold tone to the experiences of the characters and makes life much harder than those who live in the golden city of Kings Landing in the sunnier south.

The Hunger Games also uses setting to derive plot, with much of the first book taking place in the games arena where Katniss must survive the deadly traps set for the Tributes. In Gone Girl , Nick must find his missing wife Amy, and figure out the psychological games she has been playing as he falls into the domestic traps she has set. Remember that plot and setting is experienced by the character and the closer you get to the emotions of the protagonist, the more your readers will resonate with the story.

Because that is NOT what the author wrote the first time they put pen to paper. The reality is that everyone starts with a first draft, and most authors would never show that draft to anyone. In my experience, the amazing ideas I have in my head turn out to be a mess on the page. Finding the right words is difficult.

1. Becoming a Novelist Takes a Little Raw Talent

And how the hell did my character even get into this dilemma in the first place?! Do you schedule your gym classes? Your meetings at work? Your social life? I use an old-school Filofax diary and schedule my writing time in blocks. Now I tend to go to a cafe or a co-working space and pound away at the keyboard while plugged into Rain and Thunderstorms on repeat. Anything to quiet that critical voice! Once you are in your specific place at the specific scheduled time, then you need to focus. No Facebook, no email, no social media, no texting.

Set a timer and start small, since writing takes stamina and you have to build it up over time. Try ten minutes of typing and just write down what your character is doing in a particular place. Allow yourself to write a load of crap without censoring and I guarantee you that there will be something there worth saving! Take a quick break and then do another ten minutes. Repeat this until you have your first draft. It really is that simple but not easy, and you get the bug, this will turn out to be immensely satisfying and addictive! Bonus tip: You can write by hand on paper, or use MS Word, but many writers now use Scrivener software which helps you organize and write your novel.

I have personally found it life-changing! So said Michael Crichton, author of Jurassic Park and many other incredible bestselling books. This is particularly true when you first start writing fiction because there is a huge gap between the books that you love and the pitiful first draft you have created. I end up with pages of scribbled notes, arrows, lines and extra scenes, strike-through marks across whole pages, as well as grammar and typos fixes.

Then I put all those changes back into my Scrivener document, remembering to back up my files along the way, of course! That first edit is usually my most significant one, and then I will print it out and go through it once more before working with a professional editor. The best way to improve your writing is to work with an editor on your manuscript. If you want an agent, then improving your manuscript before submission is a good idea. You can find a list of editors here. There are different types of edits. A story edit, or content edit, is a great way to check whether your structure is working, whether your characters are engaging or whether your plot has massive holes.

Too many writers think editing is about fixing typos, but that is the least important thing at this stage. Readers will forgive terrible writing if your story is amazing. After all, 50 Shades of Grey sold million copies! Getting a story edit is often the best way to improve your work and well worth investing in.

I can get your travel book published. Here's how...

Then you can do your rewrites based on the suggested changes. This article has been a whistle-stop tour through the process, but I want to reassure you again that it is possible. So I wish you all the best with your book. If you want to get started on your novel right now, and get into these topics in more detail, then check out my multimedia course: How to Write a Novel: From First Draft to Finished Manuscript. What are your problems with writing your first novel? Or do you have any tips on writing for those getting started?

Please do leave a comment below and join the conversation. HI, Joanna!

Writing tips for aspiring travel writers - Lonely Planet

This was a great mini refresher course for me. Perhaps better known as a phenomenal travel memoirist, Matthiessen also wrote fiction as adventurous as its hardscrabble characters. In this elegy for a dying ecology and a dying livelihood, a boatful of turtle fishermen roam across the overfished Bahamas, riffing one another in pidgin dialects between encounters with near disaster and modern pirates. Mistry manages his own fine balance between detail and scope in this Mumbai-set novel.

This taciturn tale of stoic warriors ground down by the Spanish Civil War reminds us, says Peter Hessler, that "Hemingway was a remarkable landscape writer. Decades before the Caribbean-born British writer became acclaimed for Wide Sargasso Sea, she evoked Paris through a glass very darkly in this first-person tale of a woman's melancholy return to the city. The critic Alfred Kazin credited Howells, onetime editor of Boston's Atlantic Monthly, with tilting the axis of literature south, to New York, when he moved there in the s. His fictionalized account of the move was "about a city at a moment when it's bursting with promise," says Phillip Lopate, who wrote the introduction to this edition.