Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Blog Tour: Lost Stars by Lisa Selin Davis [Tips for Aspiring Writers]

As part of the blog tour for Lost Stars, I have the author Lisa Selin Davis on the blog with some handy hints and tips for all aspiring writers. But before we get to that, let's find out more about what the book is all about.

A heartbreaking, wryly funny story of love, longing, music and one very special comet

Carrie is lost. And she’s angry at almost everything and everyone. Most of all though, she’s angry at her big sister Ginny. For dying.

Pretty much the only thing that keeps Carrie sane is her music. Even her beloved comet, the faithful friend that she’s been following for years, can’t help her now that her dad has taken away her telescope.

Then she meets Dean. Gorgeous Dean. He’s sitting out on his front step playing guitar early one summer morning – and everything changes forever.

Lost Stars' was published on the 6th October 2016 by Hot Key Books,

Tips for aspiring writers

So you want to be a writer? Well, it ain’t glamorous. It involves sitting by yourself in a room (or sometimes a cafĂ©, or an office, or anywhere that you can balance your laptop on your lap), and typing, typing, typing, then feeling like you’ve written the greatest thing in the world, only to realize, 12 minutes later, that it’s terrible. It not only requires discipline, it requires the ability to navigate a complex web of emotions. That is, unless you are totally even keeled and have 100% confidence in your work. Which, if you do, is a miracle, and you should call me immediately and tell me how to be that way.

So here are some tips for those who want to write and not go nuts.

WRITE. Okay, this seems dumb, but I’ve met a lot of people who talk about the fiction they’re writing, but their fingers haven’t caught up to their mouths. Sit down and type, as much, as often as you can. Just see what kind of words come out.

TAKE A SOCIAL MEDIA BREAK. It’s hard. It’s so hard. Give yourself at least 20 minutes of writing time, away from Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, Facebook, and whatever app just came out three seconds ago that I haven’t heard of yet. Let distractions fall away, for as long as you can.

GET READERS, OR A WRITERS’ GROUP. You may just want people to tell you that your work is brilliant, but if you actually want your writing to be better, find some people who give you good feedback, and bake them cookies or take them out for pizza, or otherwise find some way to make them want to read and critique your work. I am so dependent on my writers’ group. Couldn’t live without ‘em.

TURN OFF THE VOICES OF DOUBT. As you’re writing, you may hear voices—not of the characters you create (those are the good kinds of voices), but of doubt: no one will like this. It’ll never get published. I’m no good. FORGET THEM. Do whatever you have to to shut them up: turn on music. Hum. Tell them to take a hike. Type faster. The voices of doubt do not need to be heard!

PREPARE YOURSELF FOR REJECTION. Oh, this sounds so negative. Sorry. There are some people who write and it gets published and they’re showered with public affection and win awards and make money and keep writing and life is good and easy. I don’t know those people, but apparently there are some. For the rest of us,

FOLLOW THROUGH. Writing is about seeing things through, getting to the end of the sentence, the paragraph, the page, the chapter, the book. Keep typing until you get to the end. Then go back to the beginning.

REVISE, REVISE, REVISE. See #6. After you think you’ve done, start again. Print out your work. Read it aloud to yourself. Sometimes you may even type the whole thing back in again.

CONGRATULATE YOURSELF. Did you write something? For real? Feel proud. Then go back and start the process again.

photo by Dave Bigler
About the author
Lisa Selin Davis is originally from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where she spent summers playing and listening to music with her (older) friends and riding her bike.

She has written articles for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine and many other publications. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids, and a very old cat.

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