Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tuesday's Tips and Tweaks

This week author Marie Laval joins us with her tip. Marie writes racy, rule-breaking romance and women’s fiction. Originally from Lyon in France, Marie studied History and Law at university there before moving to Lancashire in England where she worked in a variety of jobs, from PA in a busy university department to teacher of French in schools and colleges. Writing, however, was always her passion, and she spends what little free time she has dreaming and making up stories. Her historical romances ANGEL HEART and THE LION'S EMBRACE are published by MuseItUp Publishing. A SPELL IN PROVENCE is her first contemporary romance. It is published by Áccent Press.

Marie’s Tip

I feel like a little bit of a cheat because my writing tip isn't actually my own, but one I have pinched from the great Stephen King.

A couple of years ago, I watched online one of his lectures about writing and the creative process. He was asked if he carried a notebook everywhere to jot down ideas in case he forgot them. Now, I am a great fan of notebooks, I have one or two for every one of my stories and I cannot go anywhere without taking them in my handbag. Over the years, I have always found them invaluable to help me gather my ideas, focus my thoughts or scribble a few words or sentences I'm afraid I'll forget.

Stephen King replied that he didn't believe in writing down ideas to make sure he remembered them. He believed that the best ideas were the ones he would never forget because they would always stay with him, no matter what. And despite my great love of notebooks, I had to agree with him. You never, ever forget a great idea, a great name, or a great piece of dialogue. The best scenes are the ones you can visualise so much that you are actually inside the story. Taking notes is then totally unnecessary, because you actually live the scene, along with your characters, and I don't think that there is anything more magical than this.

When I was writing  my newly released contemporary romantic suspense A SPELL IN PROVENCE, I experienced quite a few of those magical moments. The meeting at Bellefontaine between Amy Carter - my heroine - and Fabien Coste, was one of the first and most striking images I had of my characters, and so was the scene when Fabien is standing at the top of the stairs at Manoir and looks down at Amy before the Hunt Ball.

I still have my notebooks - it's a habit hard to break -  but I have learned to trust myself, my instincts and my feelings more.

Excerpt from A Spell in Province

Shivering in the cold breeze despite her shawl, Amy joined the guests lining up to be greeted by Fabien, who in true lord of the manor style, stood tall and imposing at the top of the steps, with torches burning on either side of him.

He might wear a black dining suit and a crisp white shirt instead of a suit of armour, but there was something untamed, fundamentally uncivilized and proprietary about the way he surveyed the crowd – as if he truly owned everything and everyone, like Frédéric had said, and Amy was seized by an irresistible, irrational and overwhelming urge to flee. She didn’t want to speak to Fabien Coste, didn’t want to put up with his arrogant ways. He could keep his fancy chateau, his contacts and glamorous guests, she didn’t need him. She would walk home. It wasn’t that far.

She was about to step aside when he looked down and their gaze met. Shadows danced on his face. The torches hissed in the breeze, their flames shooting high in the air and reflecting in his green eyes, giving them a deep, dangerous glow. For the space of a heartbeat, the noise of conversations around her became distant and fuzzy, and all she could see was him.

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You can also buy it in print at

You can find Marie at:
Website http://marielaval.blogspot.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marie.laval.9

Thanks Marie, for dropping by and sharing that great writing tip.

Check back next week for another tip from another author.

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