Did y’all know that Delia developed my logo for me? She did. And I love it. She caught the essence of my Southern-fried Fiction brand. So, when she told me my topic was writing tips, I thought, “Cool. I love to pass on tips I’ve learned from other writers.”
And that’s true. I don’t have many of my own, though. Other authors, who have mentored me and taught workshops, have instilled them all in me. I’m merely paying them forward, hoping it
takes you less time than it did me to grab the brass pen and sign a contract.
Here are five that stand out to me and have made a big difference for me:
1. Story is king. Learn the basics of good writing and then trust your instincts as a storyteller. Learn when to break the rules, and then do it with panache.
2. Coincidence can’t replace Motivation. Motivation is the key to great characters and plots. Readers will follow a character through anything if the motivation is believable.
3. Give your characters a lie they believe, flaws and quirks to make them real. People can’t relate to someone who is good all the time. They want to see characters that make mistakes like they do. Who mess up in life like they do. Characters they can relate to.
4. Make metaphors and similes fresh and turn clichés on their ear. The opening lines to my latest WIP, Life in Chapel Springs, are: The morning fog was about as thick as the pea soup Great-aunt Lola used to make. Claire hated that soup then and she didn’t much like this fog now. That’s making an old cliché fresh. Instead of saying a “Cheshire cat grin” I used “She grinned like Garfield with a pan of lasagna.”
5. This one was taught to me by the late Ron Benrey. I keep it posted nearby lest I forget. It’s called The Magic Paragraph and goes like this:
- Signal which head to enter
- Twang an appropriate sense, emotion or mental faculty
- Show appropriate action
- Repeat if necessary
Home to Chapel Springs:
There’s always someone new in Chapel Spring, either coming home or stirring up trouble.
Bestselling author Carin Jardine’s latest book is a flop. While the reviewers are happily skewering her, her racecar-driver-husband walks out on her and she’s evicted, because he hasn’t paid the lease on their condo for the last three months. Then she discovers he also he drained their bank accounts. Homeless and broke, she and her little boy have no choice but to retreat to the house she inherited from her nana in Chapel Springs—the house that’s been gutted. Then, a stranger knocks on her door. One that will change the course of her life.
After the residents thwarted Howie Newlander’s plans for a Miami-style resort on Chapel Lake, he’s running for mayor and spreading rumors about diverted water and misused taxes. The Lakeside Players want to remodel the town’s old theater, but it’s rumored to be haunted. When Newlander and Mayor Riley go head-to-head, Claire gets caught in the middle.
Claire’s youngest daughter is in love with a young man whose daddy is none other than Mayor Felix Riley…the man who blames Claire for every wrong in Chapel Springs. Having him part of her family isn’t in Claire’s plan. The years of her heartache should warn her daughter off this boy. So far, her daughter’s heart isn’t hearing the warnings.
With hearts pulled in all directions, will they find a home in Chapel Springs?
About Ane Mulligan:
While a floppy straw hat is her favorite, novelist Ane Mulligan has worn many including pro-family lobbyist, drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. Ane writes her Southern-fried fiction in Sugar Hill, GA, where she resides with her artist husband, chef son, and a dog of Biblical proportion. You can find Ane on her Southern-fried Fiction website, her Amazon author page, Google+, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and Pinterest.