Maeve Binchy, an entertaining Irish author, passed away recently and I wondered how many people around the world were touched by this woman through her books. Whenever I was on holidays and had a chance to pick up a book for an extended time, Maeve Binchy novels were always my first choice. One could count on the story being set in Ireland, memorable characters, and it would be an enjoyable, light read.
Before starting my second career as an author of Middle Years novels, I purchased Maeve Binchy’s ‘how to’ book, entitled, The Maeve Binchy Writers’ Club. This book is a collaborative effort (like guest blogging) with contributions from authors, poets, editors and publishers. It served as a road map for a first time author.
Five key messages from Maeve Binchy and her contributors, include:
- be interested in the hero or heroine. This means giving them a strong and memorable personality.
- think of the story as a journey. The characters must progress and be different people for better or worse at the end of the book.
- pace the story. Chart or outline your book chapter by chapter so that the story keeps moving forward.
- being a novelist requires effort and in Marian Keyes’ words, “Writing really is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration. Writing is work!
- refuse to take rejections personally. Keep learning from feedback.
Maeve Binchy’s writing will be missed around the world. What advice can one take away from her ambitious career? DO IT and keep doing it for the fun and satisfaction experienced at the end of a project. Keep writing everyone!