Being absolutely honest, it’s taken me over ten years, from the day I started seriously writing, to achieving a publishing contract. There are a few factors which have prevented my earlier success, but one of those was the fact I used to over write.
I think it’s a common problem for authors, certainly several have shared with me that they had a similar problem.
Basically, I used to over describe, so I felt like I had to tell the reader every move a character made at every moment. I would have written, ‘His hand lifted and touched his face.’ It doesn’t sound wrong does it? But actually, why did I need to say his hand lifted? it’s obvious if he touches his face his hand must have lifted. But too much of that and the pace of the story becomes laborious, and this affects the intensity of the scenes.
If you, the reader, are going to become so wrapped up in a story that you’ve almost forgotten you’re holding a book, or a kindle, in your hands, you need the story to flow unbroken by too many words. The least amount of words I can use to express the story in a way that captivates you, and gives you an image in your mind’s eye, the better.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes, I do still describe in detail and pick things out. I might even use the words I quoted above. Because sometimes you want a story to slow down, almost like if you’d made a film slip into slow motion to hold the reader’s thoughts in a particular instant, or to focus the reader’s mind on a particular element to increase the tension. And the art of when to add more description and when to not, as a historical romance author, is even harder, because I need to ensure you have a historical setting in your mind. But I hope I have achieved the right combination in Illicit Love, certainly I have been told by several people they couldn’t put it down and stayed up, bleary eyed, to keep reading.
My debut novel Illicit Love was published May 2nd 2013