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Five Writing Tips from Alex Smith and Maire Fisher: “The Main Thing is to Enjoy the Process”

Devilskein and DearloveBirdseyeAlex Smith, author of the adventure-filled Young Adult novel Devilskein & Dearlove, and Máire Fisher, author of Birdseye, a debut novel “brimming with quiet confidence“, recently sat down with Catriona Ross to share their top five writing tips.

Both Smith and Fisher agree that inspiration can come from anywhere – you just have to be open to it. They advise against using a busy schedule as an excuse, saying that you can always find a gap to write. Their third tip is to “be prepared to change course” and allow your characters to take the story forward as it evolves. Both authors say it is important to find “a friendly first reader” who could offer constructive criticism and, as a final tip, they stress: “The main thing is to enjoy the process”.

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It was exactly the sort of event I love: two authors in conversation in a coffee shop on a balmy weekday evening. Alex Smith, author of the young adult novel Devilskein & Dearlove, and Maire Fisher, author of Birdseye, dispensed writing wisdom:

The inspiration for a novel can come from anywhere – a moment, a name, an intriguing item. For Alex, her interest in antique keys was a catalyst: ‘I knew my heroine ended up with a bunch of keys, and that meant she’d opened a series of doors.’

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