Series: Lady Helen, #1
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Release Date: December 14th, 2015
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Contemporary
Source: Received in exchange for review
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London, April 1812. Lady Helen Wrexhall is set to make her debut at the court of Queen Charlotte and officially step into polite Regency society and the marriage mart. Little does Helen know that step will take her from the opulent drawing rooms of Mayfair and the bright lights of Vauxhall Gardens into a shadowy world of missing housemaids and demonic conspiracies.
Standing between those two worlds is Lord Carlston, a man of ruined reputation and brusque manners. He believes Helen has a destiny beyond the ballroom; a sacred and secret duty. Helen is not so sure, especially when she discovers that nothing around her is quite as it seems, including the enigmatic Lord Carlston.
Against a backdrop of whispered secrets in St James's Palace, soirees with Lord Byron and morning calls from Beau Brummell, Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club is a delightfully dangerous adventure of self-discovery and dark choices that must be made... whatever the consequences.
Thanks to the lovely people at HarperCollins Australia for organising this tour!
Hey guys! Today I’m here with a super awesome author – she wrote award-winning duology Eon and Eona, and publising in January next year is Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club. (But for us Australians, it was already published on the 14th of December – whoop!) Her newest novel is set in the 19th century London with a paranormal twist; trust me guys, it’s super fabulous. So anyway, on with the guest post! I’m sure all you aspiring writers will really appreciate this one 😀
Alison Goodman’s Tips on Writing
My number one tip is to read as much as you can: good stuff, not so good stuff, books and stories of all kinds and all genres. Don’t read them just as entertainment – think about why something works as a story for you, and why it doesn’t. Think about the techniques and how you might be able to use them.
My second tip is to read some books about the craft of writing, or if you have the resources, take some writing classes. Learn about the craft of constructing stories. John Marsden’s book “Everything I Know About Writing” is a good how-to book.
And, of course, my third tip is to write. Get in front of that screen or page and write, write, write. Practice is essential. Don’t be too hard on yourself in the first draft, just let the words and ideas flow. Then, when it comes to rewriting (and all serious writers rewrite their work) bring in the craft that you have learned from books or classes and your own ideas about what makes a good story.
In terms of actually putting words on the page, my top tips are:
1. Use the five senses in your writing. Most beginner writers start off by using only the sight sense when they are describing things, but we have five senses and if you use them in your descriptions, your work will be more vivid. Of course, you don’t want to use them all at once in the same sentence!
2. Be specific. For example, instead of writing:
A dog ran into the room.
A black poodle ran into the room.
Your reader will be able to visualise the world you create more easily.
3. Find Unique Detail. Often a beginner writer will use a cliché or an overused way of describing something. Try and push past those banal ways of describing things and write your own unique way of seeing the world.
4. Show Don’t Tell. This idea is best explained by example.
Here is an example of telling:
John was angry because he lost the tennis match.
Here is an example of showing that same piece of information:
“Out” the umpire called.
John pivoted on his heel and glared at the man. “Are you kidding me?”
The umpire crossed his arms. “It was out.”
John slapped his hand against the strings of his racquet. “It was in. I can see the mark from here.”
The umpire shook his head.
“You just want me to lose!” John yelled.
So, as you can see, while the telling example gives the same information, it has no “life” or drama in it. The show example, on the other hand, is dramatic (in the sense that we can visualise the action and things are happening between two characters), engages the reader, and creates emotion through conflict. As a writer, you want your reader to feel something as they read your work. By using dialogue, action and descriptions you can create emotions like suspense, excitement, and laughter.
5. Most stories are about a character going after a goal, but their path to that goal is blocked by obstacles that must be overcome. How do you create those obstacles for your character? The answer is through conflict. There are three kinds of conflict:
Between your main character and other people. (external)
Within your character e.g. his or her morals, beliefs etc. (internal)
Between your main character and society or the environment e.g. a character battling to survive in a huge storm.
The most satisfying stories always have some kind of inner conflict within the main character, as well as one or more of the external conflicts.
Above all, have fun and keep writing!
Thanks to Alison for stopping by! I hope her tips will be found useful by you guys. And in celebration of Lady Helen’s release and the Christmassy spirit, here is a giveaway provided by yours truly!
This giveaway is internationally open. Please read our giveaway policy before entering below.
Follow the rest of the tour
- Happy Indulgence Books – Jeann interviews Alison Goodman about her writing process and inspiration for her book
- Thoughts by J – Alison Goodman shares 10 Things a Regency Lady was not Allowed to do
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