Author shares the secrets to writing a great romance novel

RIGHT STUFF: Byron-based romance author Jennifer St George encourages new writers to write every day.
RIGHT STUFF: Byron-based romance author Jennifer St George encourages new writers to write every day. Contributed

BYRON Bay-based romance author Jennifer St George knows the secret to writing a great romance novel and she is happy to kiss and tell.

It's to write every day.

And, she may just be onto something, with November being National Novel Writing Month, the month that encourages amateur novel writers to knuckle down during November and churn out the first draft of a 50,000-word novel by writing a little bit every day.

"To be a good writer I think you must read extensively in your genre and write, write, write," Ms St George said.

"It's important to get into a solid writing routine and I think that's what National Novel Writing Month encourages."

Ms St George, who spent 20 years in marketing before becoming an author, is writing her fourth novel and said she set herself daily writing goals.

"I work to a two- or three-thousand-a-day goal," she said.

She also advised budding writers to enter as many writing competitions as they could and to join groups to discuss their craft with other writers.

"It's so important to go to creative writing courses because talking to other writers about how you're going is very beneficial."

In fact, allowing authors to connect with each other is also one of the aims of National Novel Writing Month, with their website providing forums for writers to discuss their progress online and writing courses for participants in larger cities.

One local Byron Bay woman participating in Novel Writing Month for the third year running is Nicole Cody.

"I'm determined every November to get a good word count and it's great support to know people everywhere are trying to meet their daily word targets just like you," Ms Cody said.

Ms Cody currently has a manuscript she wrote during November 2010 under review with a publishing company. "I would encourage anyone to get involved with National Novel Writing Month as it forces you to sit down every day and get something on the page," she said.

"It also helps to get rid of your inner judgment as once you've got those words you can go back and edit them and polish them and it really shelves your inner critic."

Jennifer St George's new book Sweet Seduction will be released in local book stores later this month.

To sign up for National Novel Writing Month visit nanowrimo.org.


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