I am delighted to have Marie Laval as a guest on my blog today. Marie is published by Choc Lit and writes both contemporary and historical romance. In 2021 she was shortlisted for the RNA Jackie Collins Romantic Suspense Award. She has kindly agreed to share with us her top six writing tips. Over to Marie:
Thank you so much for welcoming me on your blog today to share with you my writing tips. Every writer is different and I don’t pretend that my tips will suit everybody, but they have worked well for me so far. So here we go!
- Write every day, even if it’s only a few lines. I know it’s not always possible, and I have myself found it extremely hard over the past year and a half and my writing has suffered. I try to scribble something about the story or the characters on a notebook before going to bed if I haven’t had the chance to do any ‘proper writing’ during the day.
- Be completely in love with your hero. It may sound corny, but you are going to be spending many hours with that person, so it is essential to feel a connection to him!
- If like me, you don’t plan a lot, you should at least work out what the motivations of the main characters are before you start so that you understand why they behave the way they do.
- Research the setting well, or even better, visit the locations in order to experience the landscapes, the colours and the smells so that when you describe them the readers feel they are actually there with the characters. It’s not always possible to travel, of course, but there are brilliant videos on YouTube, such as walking tours of a town or a historic building which can help you get a good feel for the place.
- Be patient. Sometimes you get stuck but things always work out in the end. Go for a walk and talk to yourself aloud to experiment with dialogue, even if it makes you look a bit silly.
- Be kind to yourself. Sometimes we judge our writing far too harshly, or we take a critical review to heart and feel discouraged and ready to give up. I love writing. It helps me escape from daily worries and it brings me a lot of joy. And that’s what matters in the end.
Marie’s latest book, Captured by a Scottish Lord, was published last month and sounds intriguing:
Can a Desert Rose survive a Scottish winter?
The wild Scottish landscape is a far cry from Rose Saintclair’s Saharan oasis, although she’ll endure it for Lord Cameron McRae, the man she married after a whirlwind romance in Algiers. But when stormy weather leads to Rose’s Scotland-bound ship docking on Cape Wrath – the land of Cameron’s enemy, Bruce McGunn – could her new life already be in jeopardy?
Lord McGunn was a fearless soldier, but his experiences have made him as unforgiving as the land he presides over. He knows McRae won’t rest until he owns Wrath, and the man is willing to use brutal tactics. Bruce decides that he’ll play McRae at his own game, take the ship and its precious occupant, and hold them hostage.
Rose is determined to escape, but whilst captured she learns that there’s another side to her new husband – and could her supposedly cold and ruthless kidnapper also be concealing hidden depths?
CAPTURED BY A SCOTTISH LORD is available on Amazon and Kobo and other platforms.
About the author
Originally from Lyon in France, Marie now lives in Lancashire and writes historical and contemporary romance. Best-selling LITTLE PINKTAXI was her debut romantic comedy novel with Choc Lit. A PARIS FAIRY TALE was published in July 2019, followed by BLUEBELL’S CHRISTMAS MAGIC in November 2019 and bestselling romantic suspense ESCAPE TO THE LITTLE CHATEAU which was shortlisted for the 2021 RNA Jackie Collins Romantic Suspense Award. Marie’s historical romances, ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE, QUEEN OF THE DESERT and CAPTURED BY A SCOTTISH LORD, all feature members of the Saintclair family and her short stories are published in the bestselling Miss Moonshine anthologies. Marie is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors, and her novels are available as paperbacks, ebooks and audiobooks on Amazon and various other platforms.
#1 by Marie Laval on February 16, 2023 - 9:40 am
Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Sally!
#2 by Sally Jenkins on February 16, 2023 - 12:04 pm
It’s a pleasure, Marie. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
#3 by Karen Dimmick on February 16, 2023 - 11:21 am
That’s a great set of tips. The character motivations are always fun 🙂 I’ve not written anything with a “real” setting like the historical novels, but even just understanding how towns and cities come about and get planned can help with fantasy settings.
#4 by Sally Jenkins on February 16, 2023 - 12:06 pm
Agreed, Karen. And all the best with your fantasy writing.
#5 by Marie Laval on February 16, 2023 - 1:53 pm
Definitely! Good luck with your fantasy novel, Karen, and thank you for your comment.