Wendy Lou Jones
LifeOfWriters.com interviwed author Wendy Lou Jones about her interesting writing life. She is the author of seven books and one on the way, her latest book : A Different Life have got many amazing reviews. Read her blog and more about her books here. Below you can read about her writing and get her amazing top 5 writing tips, you dont want to miss it.
- What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
I am fortunate enough not to have to fit my writing around a day job, just around the rest of life. It’s random and it works for me, probably unconventional. I don’t write every day or plan a time to write. Maybe that sounds unprofessional, but having the luxury of time, I write when I want to. So it may be that I don’t write at all for a couple of weeks, or perhaps a month, but then I may write for 15 hours in one day, or about 10 hours a day for a week. I tend to go with how the story is unfolding. If I’m struggling with a section, I may write a scene or two and then stop and write again in a day or so when I’m more confident with how it should go on. If I am feeling the story, I just crack on filling what time I have. Usually, it has to be said, if I’m not writing, it’s because I’m not happy with how it’s going and then thinking and taking a break from it for a while seems to be the best option. I’m making this sound like I rarely write, but ask my family, they will tell you I always am. I just don’t fit it into a particular shape or schedule.
- Do you plan before you start writing? If so how do you do it?
Very roughly. I plan the main plot. I do a couple of pages of notes and then get stuck in. When I get to a part I’m not sure about, I plot out that piece in more detail to work it out in my head. That’s not to say it stays that way. Sometimes characters do unexpected things and that’s often the best part. I have this fear of plotting too intensely. I think if I know exactly how it will go and what will happen to everyone, I will lose the excitement for the story. For me writing a story is like reading one. I feel the pull to go back to find out what happens next.
- On your blog you talk about writing from the wrong POV. How do you know when you’re writing from the wrong POV?
The story I am writing at the moment is a case in point. I originally wrote it from both hero and heroine’s POV (my usual style), but that gave away too many spoilers. So I took her out and wrote the first half in his POV and planned to do the second half in her POV, and I still think this would have worked, but by the time I got through his POV I began to suspect most of my readers would have put the book down and walked away before ever falling in love. So now I am writing the whole thing in her POV. Some chapters I have left in his for now, but I think I understand how to convert them. I tell you I have reams on this book. I could probably publish the same story twice in both POVs, or do one of those books where the front is her POV and the back, turned upside down, is in his.
Basically, if I go off the book, then something is wrong. I wait until I work out what and then fix it. I hope I have this one sorted now. How many other POVs could there be? No aliens land. No renegade cat patrols throughout. LOL
I have started writing again in earnest now, so fingers crossed I’ve cracked it.
- How often do you read? And what do you read?
I read most nights and when I’m not into my writing. Mostly I read romances. I love historicals – regency, highland, that sort of thing, but I also read contemporary.
- What would be your top 5 writing tips?
Firstly, make sure your posture is comfy – writers are notorious for getting back ache from rubbish typing positions. Guilty as charged for many years.
If you’re writing to make money, give up now. No, seriously, study what’s selling and what the market wants. If it’s not a factor, write what you love. And if you can manage to do both at the same time, you’ve cracked it.
When you read or watch something at the cinema or on TV and you love it, think why did I love that? What did the writer do that made me love it? And then try to incorporate that into your skill set.
Ask questions. If your character is doing something, why are they doing it? What do they hope to achieve? What are they wearing? What are they thinking? Who else is in the room…? Questions are the root of all story.
But my main one would be: accept that the first draft of anything you write will be shit (Hemingway). Don’t worry about this. Write. After it is written you can work on making it better. Although I’ve heard this saying often over the years, I’ve only recently embraced it and it’s truly liberating.