Want to Write? Here is What Every New Author Needs to Know

Have you ever wanted to write a novel of your own, but didn’t know where to begin? We had a chance to chat with some of our Love Inspired authors and asked them to share their advice for new writers and how they began their own writing journey. 

Are you an aspiring author? Share your writing experiences in the comments section below!

Lois Richer, author of Hoping for a Father

When I began writing, my head swirled with ideas and I couldn’t stop writing. There weren’t enough hours in my day to say what I wanted in those stories. After many years, it’s become a little more difficult to come up with a new plot, a new twist, a new untold story. I wish I had realized back then how necessary it is to keep on writing steadily, despite feeling uninspired, despite delays in editorial responses, despite letters declining my work, and all the other excuses I made for taking a break. I wish I had been a little less tense about all the business stuff and focused more on just writing. In hindsight, I now know that the more I continue to keep words flowing on the page, the more ideas fill the well inside of me, fleshing out my stories and making it easier to write another, but it took a while for me to realize that.

Hoping for a Father by Lois Richer

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Jocelyn McClay, author of Amish Reckoning

Two things spring to mind, patience and persistence. Patience, as the process between submitting a manuscript and having a printed book in your hands can be a lengthy one. A year and a half went by between when I submitted a requested manuscript and when I got ‘the call’.  Persistence, in the aspect of continuing to write while you’re waiting to hear back. Persistence in continuing to write on a project when another bright, shiny idea comes along. And persistence in putting words down when everything else in the world seems to be conspiring to distract you.

Amish Reckoning by Jocelyn McClay

Harlequin | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | Apple Books | Goodreads

Lisa Carter, author of A Mother’s Homecoming

One of the most encouraging pieces of advice I ever read came from bestselling novelist, Elizabeth George. She said, “You will be published if you possess three qualities—talent, passion, and discipline.”

And the most important of these? Not talent, or passion. But discipline—perseverance. The ability to keep on keeping on. Writing one word after the other. Never quitting. Never giving up.

My advice to new authors is to:

  1. Read a lot.
  2. Write every day. Hone your craft through practice.
  3. Attend the best conference you can afford at least once a year.
  4. Don’t listen to nay-sayers. 

A Mother's Homecoming by Lisa Carter

Harlequin | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | Apple Books | Goodreads

Ruth Logan Herne, author of Learning to Trust

I wish I’d realized that editors really, truly long for our success. I wouldn’t have been so scared! J Once I realized that reaching out to my editor saved So Much Time, it made the journey even better.

Learning to Trust by Ruth Logan Herne

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Leigh Bale, author of Healing Their Amish Hearts

The best advice I have ever received or can offer to another writer is to do just that.  WRITE! If you don’t have a book written, you have nothing to sell. Don’t worry about getting a website or Facebook or Twitter.  Worry about writing the book. And get tough skinned. Don’t be so tied to your story that you can’t look at it objectively. I know our books are our babies, but sometimes they stink and need a bath. If your critique partners or agent and editors are telling you the same thing, maybe you better listen to them. Be willing to really look harshly at your work with an objective eye and make changes. If you have to, be prepared to delete entire scenes or chapters in order to make that book the best it can possibly be. Because until you do, you aren’t going to sell it to an editor.

An agent can help you sell your book but they don’t buy your book. It’s the editors you’ll need to please. And they may not even tell you what’s wrong with your book before they reject it. It’s YOUR job to find out what’s wrong with your book and fix it. By attending conference workshops to learn the craft of writing, working with kind but honest critique partners (there are some bad critique partners out there that you don’t want to mix with), and entering contests that offer feedback on how to improve your story, and not being afraid of revisions, you can really build your book into a story that will grab an editor and land a sell.

Healing Their Amish Hearts by Leigh Bale

Harlequin | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | Apple Books | Goodreads

Shirlee McCoy, author of Falsely Accused

I wish I had known that writing as a career is a marathon not a sprint. Slow steady progress toward writing goals is just as effective as a fast-paced frantic writing schedule. I also wish I had known how important it was to savor and give myself credit for my successes.

Falsely Accused by Shirlee McCoy

Harlequin | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | Apple Books | Goodreads

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Comments ( 6 )
  1. Marcie R
    February 28, 2020 at 9:11 am
    Reply

    One of the things I’m trying to do, after years of writing/not writing, is write as ME, in my voice, and not as someone else. I’m also trying not to put myself in a “box” and try to write to a Harlequin series, which again reverts back to embracing my writing voice.

  2. N.N
    March 1, 2020 at 7:32 pm
    Reply

    Hey Harlequin! Lots of advice for prospective authors, what about editors??
    I am very interested in editing romance novels, how would I begin?
    Thanks for your advice in advance.

    • Elissa
      March 2, 2020 at 8:40 am
      Reply

      Thanks for your comment and what a great idea for a post. We will look into this! -Elissa from Harlequin

      • N.N
        March 9, 2020 at 4:33 pm
        Reply

        Thanks Elissa, I’ll be looking out for it..!

  3. Israel Miracle
    March 12, 2020 at 9:48 pm
    Reply

    Hi
    Thanks for all the advi

  4. Israel Miracle
    March 12, 2020 at 9:49 pm
    Reply

    Hi
    Thanks for all the advice, I am a prospective author and I have learnt some things from this and I look forward to more.

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