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Your writing questions . . . answered!

On Friday we tweeted all the questions you sent the Entice team! Now, we’re giving them to you again but this time with the answers our Editors so kindly provided! See below . . .

1. I don’t like the name of my lead character and I’m struggling to think of a better one. Any tips?

Well, the first question we’d ask is ‘Why don’t you like the name?’ If it doesn’t ring true, that’s one thing; however, if you’re trying to find something ‘interesting’ or ‘romantic’, the readers will generally know.  So be honest to yourself! You might think ‘Bob’ is a real turn-on. Or perhaps ‘Vincent’! Dare we even say ‘Maleficent’? Readers don’t judge that much because they will associate the character’s name with the character’s attitude. If you write ‘Seymour’ as a bad-ass, the name becomes it.

2. Roughly how many words should a chapter be?

There is no chapter max or min. We have some chapters that are one page and some that are one third of the book! Instead of aiming for length, try thinking of giving your readers structure.

3. Does my book have to have a title, or do you do that?

Both! It depends how good your title is! Most books come to us with a title already and sometimes we change it, according to the current market or other books on our list . Sometimes we don’t. We would always recommend not to get too attached, but if you make a good case for it there’s a good chance it’ll stick.

4. If my hero is a bad boy, how do I ensure that he’s still appealing, both to the reader and the heroine?

This is definitely debatable, but most of the time we would say yes. You need your character to be a bad-boy, not a ‘bad guy’. This does not mean your man doesn’t have faults. He could have loads of them and at the end of the day be completely beyond redemption. However, the readers need to understand why he became that way or why he will never change. They don’t need to forgive him, but they need to understand.

5. Does there have to be a definitive romantic moment in the first two chapters? Or is bubbling sensual tension between hero and heroine enough?

Um, have you read Pride and Prejudice? The sexual tension is sometimes better!!

6. Help! I’ve hit a  writing block! Any advice?

Loads. Read Grace’s piece on writing blocks HERE.

7. Should I leave the reader with a dramatic moment at the end of chapter two so that they are hungry for more?

Again, this is debatable. I (Caroline) personally LOVE a cliff-hanger. Some readers hate being left hanging. But there is no reason why it would be chapter two as opposed to any other chapter. If your book is a series and you intend to pick up where you left off in the story, perhaps try the last chapter. But for the purposes of the competition, there is no need for us.

8. How important is character interaction and dialogue? I’ve heard about show, not tell, and I want to make sure I don’t fall into the telling trap!

A good writer is able to balance both show and tell. Characters can show their wit and courage through words, not necessarily heroic acts of valor. But at the same time, we don’t want to know what our hero ate for breakfast every day.