Charlotte Hains offers some writing advice and lifts the lid on her own process.
What is your advice to aspiring writers?
Being a new author I haven’t really thought about this question. I do suggest you do your research, look at your subject from all sides not just yours, be objective and be critical on your subject. Take a step back during writing and rest from your book then read what you have written as if you have never seen it before. This is very hard to do but it is possible.
By doing this will give you a little insight hopefully of what a reader will see. It will also help to cut out some of the pointless babble that had crept in, and see where it needs to filled out with more details.
I suggest you read blogs on how to write a book and edit, I found the information incredibly useful, and most importantly, how to be objective about your own work. Lastly proofreading, a good proofreader is worth their weight in gold, but first of all I had a copy editor to read and edit the book. They looked at each word and sentence to ensure that I hadn’t missed anything or got names or datelines confused. They make good recommendations as to where you need to work on your book and how. Well worth the money. After all of that I had a proof reading done to make sure everything was polished the way it should be.
Describe your typical writing day.
A typical writing day usually starts off as panic in a strange way. As I turn on my computer, my first thoughts are: Did I save it? Did the computer remember to save the work I had done the day before? I then rush to open the document and read the last parts of the previous day’s work. After I have found that it is all ok, I finish making the cup of coffee so I can sit properly and read through the story line where I left off, with a clear empty mind.
I then try and imagine that I am in the story and how can I make it look real. What would I say? What would friends say? How would this play out in different situations? Then I start writing with my head full of ideas. After the first hour of writing and having all these thoughts of where the story would go and a little typing, it’s usually time for a second cup of coffee to try and clear my head from the nonsense that had accumulated from my panic, everything working, everything saved.
What surprised you the most when writing Charlotte X?
The biggest surprise of all was that as I typed, the story just grows. I get completely lost in the words and the world of Charlotte. Writing to me is like a child. You nurture it, you feed it, it grows, and in my case the characters grew and developed everyday.
One of my fears was that I wouldn’t develop them enough or too much, I didn’t want to crash and burn them out, also I didn’t want to have too many in any give story line. I have sat for days just tweaking some of the story lines as I write them, just giving what I think will be a little more of a character, building up personalities for them just enough to keep the interest going. This was a big part of everyday for me, as their characters were just as important as the story line.
Being a writer is a lot more than just writing as I have found out, you need to be able to research to get as much detail correct as you can, refresh your ideas and your thinking. Whenever I got lost with what to do, I would research on the net. This would happen a few times a day and always done with more coffee.
I seemed to get a little obsessive with the book and some days I would write and research for a good 20 hours a day because I couldn’t get something just so and until it was I could not switch off my brain. One thing I know for sure about my writing were that two days are never the same. My days are full of fun, anticipation and surprise. Writing the book has been just as good as reading a book – feeding my mind with so much information my imagination has been woken up in a different dimension of literature and a side of literature I never thought I would follow.
When Charlotte bumps into her old friend Anthony she is at her lowest…
Shocked by the revelation of her escape from a controlling and abusive relationship, Anthony enlists the help of Nats and Lloyd to help Charlotte find the confidence she once had. Charlotte is unaware, however, of the darker side of her friends’ lifestyle. And although Lloyd is deeply attracted to her, Charlotte is broken, hurt, and lacks control. As Lloyd sets to work coming up with unique ideas to bring Charlotte back to life, she is introduced to an intimate world of secret passions and desire.
Charlotte Hains left the UK for France after deciding she needed a change, taking on the huge project of renovating a house. With her house nearly finished she found herself with long nights and lots of thumb twiddling, reading anything she could get on her iPad – Fifty Shades of Grey in particular caught her eye. Unbeknownst to her, her sister was reading it as well. Her sister thought that, because Charlotte has such a creative side, maybe she’d be able to write a book too. As a joke, Charlotte emailed her sister her stories. She researched blogs and BDSM sites on the internet, and so Introducing Charlotte came alive. Before she knew it, Charlotte had over 150,000 words which she’d sent by email in instalments to her sister, and there was more than enough for a book…or maybe even two!