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authors tips
R.J. Ellory
"There is no formula for writing a great book. There are no rules. W. Somerset Ma..." More

Tip From Douglas Jackson

As a writer you are learning all the time, about the elements that make a good story and how to translate that into a good book and how to do it more efficiently and effectively.

When I was writing
Hero of Rome, the thing that struck me most was that you shouldn't allow your research to get in the way of your story. In the past I've been a little guilty of dropping historical facts and figures into the narrative to show how much work I've done and impress people. In Hero of Rome I was confident enough to let the story flow and I generally only researched something if I reached a point where it was needed. It helped the story flow more smoothly, improved the pace and it didn't in any way detract from a book which people I respect say is my best yet.

I've also written a thriller,
The Doomsday Testament, which will be published in August under the name James Douglas, and I tried something new which worked really well. When I put together the pitch for the publisher I created an enhanced chapter flow. In the past I've written a single paragraph for each chapter which has allowed me to map out the book and the publisher to understand how it fits together. This time I expanded the chapters and used colour and dialogue to try to give a real flavour of the story and the characters. When I eventually came to write the book, it was as if I'd written it already and only needed to fill in the gaps. I knew the characters and how they were going to react in any given situation. It made the book a real pleasure to write and it's definitely something I'll do again.

Published by Random House, an extract to the author’s own opening is displayed below. View Hero of Rome on Amazon



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