Archives

Don't Close Your Eyes, Try Not to Breathe, Writing

Handy tools for getting to know your characters

22nd April 2018

Robin inspiration board on Pinterest

Last week I shared some handy tools and techniques for planning a novel and because I’m literally currently doing this, I thought I’d follow up with the next step: planning characters.

Most of my books have a small ensemble ‘cast’ but I tend to start with the most ‘active’ voice and build that character first, the other characters are formed almost as ‘answers’ to that first character.

In Don’t Close Your Eyes, which features twins with equal billing and points of view, I started with one character (Robin) and then built the others using her as a starting point. The reason for this was simply that Robin came to me almost fully formed, so I had a running start. It’s not always that easy!

In Try Not to Breathe, I started with Amy. Although in the present day she is definitely not the most active, Amy’s point of view opens the book. And because the central question of the novel is ‘what happened to Amy?’ it was vital that she really came alive for the reader straight away.Readers have to care about what happens to a character, and you can’t care about someone you know nothing about.

But I don’t use anything remotely cutting edge to plan my characters…

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Competitions, Love Will Tear Us Apart, Publication

Win a signed copy of Love Will Tear Us Apart

19th April 2018

cover art for Love Will Tear Us Apart by Holly Seddon

To celebrate its UK launch on 7 June, I’m giving away three signed copies of Love Will Tear Us Apart.

“One of the most moving and involving books I have ever read… just perfect. I absolutely loved it.” – Gillian McAllister

“Beautifully written, with an intricate yet perfectly constructed backstory, and characters I didn’t want to leave. A must-read.” –  Clare Mackintosh

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Podcast, Writing

Useful resources for planning a page turner

14th April 2018
This week, I’ve been planning out my next book idea… I’ve not put pen to paper yet (well, fingers to keys) because I’m working on the intricacies of the plot before I jump in. I’m using a whiteboard and index cards to plan out the structure and layer possible scenes and I’ve never done so much ‘thinking’ before writing before.
Whiteboard with plot plans
 
I’ve also been reading a lot about different techniques for planning and structuring, a lot of which I did (and I think a lot of authors) do instinctively, but an equal amount I have tended to do afterwards, through big edits, bigger glasses of wine and a lot of headaches. So if you’re also at the planning stage, here are some links and resources I’ve found useful.

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School visits

My first school author visit… to my old school

26th March 2018
Holly Seddon speaking to Colyton Grammar pupils March 2018

On Friday 16 March, I drove my hire car into the visitors’ car park at Colyton Grammar School and parked next to the classroom where – around 25 years earlier – my friends and I spent break times firing as many paper aeroplanes as we could out the window. I took a tour of the school – the facilities staggering compared to my day – and kept quiet about all the detentions I’d had in the re-kitted classrooms.

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Books, Don't Close Your Eyes, Paperback, Publication

Don’t Close Your Eyes is now in paperback!

4th January 2018

…So the day is finally here. My second novel, Don’t Close Your Eyes, is published in paperback in the UK and Ireland!

Paperback cover for Don't Close Your Eyes by Holly Seddon

I’m still in The Netherlands for the moment, glamorously dealing with my son’s chicken pox and using my literary skills to do loads of laundry as we’ve still not caught up after Christmas’s Norovirus outbreak.

But I’m vicariously living through friends and readers who are kindly sharing pictures of tube and rail posters like this one from my schoolfriend Charlotte. Isn’t it beautiful? I’m so grateful to my publisher, Corvus Books.

Don't Close Your Eyes poster, Charing Cross Underground Station.

Don’t Close Your Eyes poster, Charing Cross Underground Station.

It’s an absolute privilege to publish a second book, and I really hope you enjoy it.

 

Don't Close Your Eyes

Don’t Close Your Eyes is out NOW!

9th July 2017
Don't Close Your Eyes book cover

And it’s out! Nearly a year since I wrote ‘THE END’ (metaphorically anyway, I don’t actually write that), it’s finally out!

I had the most amazing launch party, the most horrific hangover and am now knee deep into the edits on book three…

You can buy Don’t Close Your Eyes from Amazon, iBooks, Kobo and all good retailers! Woohoo!

And if you’ve already read it and would like to leave a review, I’d be immensely grateful.