With over 70 books written and 66 of them bestsellers, Catherine Coulter certainly can write!
On March 14 at the Tucson Festival of Books, I was fortunate to join her workshop in which she shared writing pointers with a full room of writers and would-be authors. She was generous with her information and quick of delivery.
All of her suggestions are ones I’ve heard, but how many of us put them into practice in our writing?
For instance, Coulter says to write every day. Well, I write something every day, but not necessarily contributions to my book in progress. Do you write daily?
Many of her comments could be summarized as avoiding overblown prose with adverbs, adjectives and unnecessary or inappropriate words. Cut adverbs 80% and adjectives 60%, Coulter said.
To edit your own writing, one of the best ways I’ve found – and I tell my coaching clients this – is to read the work aloud. You can hear when the prose is not something a human would naturally say. I wasn’t surprised that this was Coulter’s suggestion, also.
Coulter also frowns on gratuitous sex, violence, and profanity. Why limit your audience? Wouldn’t you want everyone to read your book?
Hearing these tips and more from Coulter was inspiring, an endorsement for the things I say regularly to my coaching clients. You, too, can become a bestselling author – and excellent writer!
More in my next blog on the proliferation of profanity and its use for shock value.
Shelley Gillespie is an Expert Book and Writing Coach who helps her clients write books to demonstrate their expertise for business or to tell their story.