En het laatste deel van onze mini-serie met de schrijftips van auteur Sophie Kinsella, bekend van onder andere de Shopaholic! serie over Rebecca Bloomwood. Sophie heeft met dit verhaal het ultieme doel bereikt: verfilming van haar fantasieën, met een hoofdrol voor Isla Fisher.
Om tot dat punt te komen, heeft Sophie veel wijze lessen opgedaan. Hieronder haar laatste tips voor aspirerende schrijvers!
"7. Walk and drink cocktails!
Everybody gets stuck. I find cocktails very helpful! And that's the truth, if I get stuck, I'll go out with my husband and we'll order cocktails and talk while we drink them. By the end of the evening, we've always ironed out the knot.
I find it loosens you up and also it turns it into a fun project, there's nothing worse than sitting grimly staring at a screen, you must get out.
The other thing to do is go for a walk, walking seems to free up the cogs of the brain like nothing else. You can sit at your desk for two hours, feeling wretched because you can't find the solution, then you give up and go for a walk and it comes to you straight away.
8. Plan your books
For me, the planning stage is vital and it takes months, if not years. When I'm writing a book, I do it in my office, but when I'm planning a book I like going and sitting in coffee shops. I like the buzz and I like being surrounded by people, but remaining anonymous.
I write my plot points on file cards and Blu Tac them to the wall. Then I stand back and look at the terrain of the story and decide whether I like it and if not I can just move them around. I find that very satisfying - it's a bit like doing a crossword puzzle!
The truth is you can plan and plan but during the story, something will change, that's just the way it is. But I find starting off with structure and a beginning, a middle and an end is vital.
9. Get a great agent and consider a pseudonym
I think I've written 20 books in total now and I've always had the same agent. Having an agent, for me is the best thing I've ever done, because she's guided me, she's been a friend, she's dealt with all the business side of what I do and I wouldn't have known where to start without her.
There are lots of advantages to having a pseudonym. It gives you a bit of privacy so you can have an official name and a home name. And I don't think there are many careers where you can just completely reinvent yourself every so often - it's wonderful.
10. Write the next you
Everyone has got a story to tell and everyone can learn and improve their writing. There are some elements of writing which can definitely be taught, a sort of craft and you should always try to learn and improve. I am still learning with every book.
I don't see why anybody shouldn't write a book. There is nobody who is not interesting in this world, so why shouldn't they tell their story?
You write what you write. You can't decide to write a certain book, I believe your writing finds you. So don't go thinking, I'm going to write the next Da Vinci Code or the next Stephen King. Write the next you. You are going to be the next big thing!"