Guest Post from TC Southwell- Tips for New Writers

 Here’s a timely point-counterpoint to balance out the gloom and silliness of my last entry, we are privileged today to hear from a guest author, brought to the IB by Dan Marvello at the Magic Appreciation Tour. And her work must be great, I’m such a sucker for cool covers…

We welcome TC Southwell,author of several fantasy books including her new Demon Lord series; in her life TC has seen much of the alleged-real world from Sri Lanka to South Africa. Her blog tour wraps up this week and I hope you’ll take the opportunity soon to visit her sites and view her work. For now, let’s sample her—

Tips for New Writers

 First and foremost, follow your inspiration, and secondly, don’t give up. Find your genre, which should be the one you most enjoy reading, and be inspired to write original stories that utterly captivate you. If you find them engrossing, so will your readers, and your passion for your story will translate into your writing. Write for your personal pleasure, and never for what other people might find interesting. That’s a recipe for churning out more dross based on existing stories. Find something new, or, better still, invent it, and avoid McGuffins – plot devices used solely as motivators, in the form of sought-after objects or goals – like the plague. Let your characters’ decisions, foibles or situations drive your story.TCSouthwell

 Love your characters; you’ll want to write about them more, and your readers will pick up on your feelings for them and empathise. Ensure your story is fast-paced and engaging, with never a dull moment, even in the descriptions. Everything should be worthy of reading multiple times without becoming boring. If it does bore you, it will definitely bore your readers, so cut it out or sum it up and get on with the story. Long windedness is the bane of some writers, who can’t seem to help becoming side tracked by long explanations of things that really don’t need explaining at all. By the same token, don’t be vague. Ensure your story is easily understood, with little margin for error, lest your readers get the wrong end of the stick and totally misunderstand what you’re trying to say. Then again, don’t repeat stuff; it’s annoying! Say it once, but be clear.

 Edit your book while you’re writing it and after you finish it. Hire a professional editor if you don’t feel your prose is up to par and you don’t have the skills to improve it, but make sure you get it as good as you can before handing it over. Writing can be a lot of fun, depending, of course, on your method, but editing should be a huge part of your process. Bad grammar, typos, spelling errors and logic issues are off-putting, and info dumps, stating the obvious and repetition are irritating. Don’t confuse your readers by trying to find a unique ‘voice’. This is a mistake new writers sometimes make, thinking they need to have a fresh style, while all readers want is something that’s written clearly and concisely, and that keeps them turning the pages.


Thanks so much, TC! As part of her tour, TC is making a special offer to all Independent Bookworms, and I urge you to take full advantage.

The new series is Demon Lord, and Book One is available FREE. Plus, she’s offering a 15% discount on Demon Lord II, Dark God for 2 days, 13 – 14 August!

Promotional price: $2.54 on Smashwords, where you can use Coupon Code: JX99Z

And if you need to get in touch with TC, here are some options that will cost you less than a first-class ticket to South Africa. Which I have had, once, and I assure you if you get one, use it! But meantime…

Where to find T C Southwell online

Twitter: TCSouthwell
Facebook: Facebook profile


About Will

I'm the chronicler of the Lands of Hope tales, available at all the major online retailers.

Posted on August 13, 2013, in about writing, Age - Adult, Author Spotlight, Genre - Fantasy Stories, or browse all books and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Some excellent advice here for writers new and old. Thanks for sharing, guys!

  2. Thanks, Fireblade, I agree- and nice website of your own, if I may say so. But I’m not objective- when I get to go to South Africa, even the cricket matches look fascinating!

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