I'd like to welcome Ben Ludwig to Erin's Choice! Ben's debut novel Ginny Moon is available to buy now.
The bit on the back...
The story of a lost girl searching for her forever home.
Everyone tells Ginny that she should feel happy….
After years in foster care, fourteen year old Ginny is finally with parents who will love her. Yet despite finding her forever family, she knows she will never stop crafting her Big Secret Plan of Escape.
Because something heart-breaking happened a long time ago – something that only Ginny knows – and nothing will stop her going back to put it right…
And now over to Ben for his advice for Aspiring Authors
I’m not usually one to give a lot of advice, because I don’t think everyone necessarily benefits from the same approach. That said, if someone were to ask me what advice I would give to an inspiring writer who was extremely similar to myself, I’d say…
1. A lot of people will tell you to read widely, and that reading will make you a better writer. While that’s not a bad idea, writing – and improving your writing – demands an immense amount of time, so much so that I don’t have a lot of time to read. I think writers need to trust that their own voices more, and not worry about reading as much.
2. Writing fiction is very much like telling your friend about “that interesting thing that happened the other day.” It’s informal and fast, and if what you’re writing doesn’t make people lean forward and say, “And then what happened?”” then you’re probably not doing it right.
3. Writing should start as a habit, but should become an obsession. It takes a lot of time and effort to dig down deep into the heart of a story, to discover what it’s truly about. You can’t do that by writing once in a while, or by writing in a relaxed, casual way. The book I’m working on must always be a mystery, a thing that demands to be solved. It has to demand more from me than discipline and effort. It has to dominate my life in such a way that I’m always thinking about it, cutting corners to find time to work on it.
4. A lot of success in writing has to do with luck, and so it might seem sort of random. Something helpful I’ve learned is that although I can’t control how good things come to me, I can control how many times I give it a go. I think of it like the Wheel of Fortune. I can’t control where the wheel stops, but I can control how many times I spin it. So keep on spinning!
5. It surprised me to learn that writing is very much about relationships. A relationship forms between you and the book, and when you send it off to an agent, between the agent and the book. But relationships are difficult things. What one agent loves, another might like. Just as you might become best friends with one person and not another, one particular agent might love your book, while others can’t begin to fathom why you wrote it. The good news (to me, anyway) was that you only need one agent to fall in love with your book. So cast a wide net, when it’s time to seek an agent, and don’t be so upset when you’re turned down by one. How many people might you date before you find The One? Would you be willing to spend a life time in your search? Of course you would. The same ought to go for your book. Write the best book you can, and then search endlessly until you find someone to represent or publish it.