Writers Write is a writing resource. In this post we share British novelist, Peter James’ seven top writing tips.
Peter James is the British best-selling author of the Detective Roy Grace novels. He was born 22 August 1948.
The latest novel in the series is Find Them Dead.
He has sold more than 20 million copies and his books have been translated into 37 languages. He has won more than 40 awards for his work, including the WHSmith Best Crime Author of All Time Award, Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger, and a BAFTA nomination for The Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons for which he was an Executive Producer.
Peter has worked as producer and/or writer on over 25 features as well as creating television shows for Channel 4 and ITV.
In 2014, we hosted Peter James in Johannesburg. In our interview, he shared these top writing tips with us.
Peter James’ 7 Top Writing Tips
- Read. Read. Read. Read books that have done well in the genre you want to write in.
- I have this holy trinity of writing which consists of Character, Research, and Plot.
- Structure is important. Know your ending before you start writing. You wouldn’t just get into a car and drive without knowing where you’re going. Know your most important plot points. This does not mean that things won’t change, but you will never get stuck.
- Writer’s block doesn’t exist. If you have a plot with a proper outline you will never get writer’s block.
- Once you start writing a book, make time to write every single day. Find a comfortable number of words for you to write each day and stick to that number. I am comfortable with 1000 words.
- Love your characters. Even your villains. And the way to make a villain lovable is to give him something to love.
- And one from Graham Greene: ‘Every writer has to carry a chip of ice in their heart.’
Source for image: Writers Write
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TIP: If you want help writing a book, buy The Novel Writing Exercises Workbook.