Two Alone in Dublin
by Lucy Carey
Surrounded by one million people in Dublin city, two women feel very alone. One a university student from a small town in the Irish countryside, the other an adventurous spirit from a city in Brazil, they've both been searching for the other among the irritations and noise of everyday life...
It had been a couple of weeks since Susie Green had had a full night’s sleep. Sure, she’d snatched a few hours here or there in the early hours of the morning but it was fitful and uneasy, her mind overly alert to the call of her alarm clock. The noise started early in the evening, the rattle of music and chatter emanating from the other rooms in the house and intruding through her bedroom walls. She’d tried to drown the din out with headphones. That didn’t work. She’d taken to sleeping with a pillow over her face to muffle the sounds but that had only worked slightly on the quieter nights.
All she wanted—in fact, prayed desperately for—was a bit of uninterrupted sleep. Failing that, though, she’d settle for a bit of sympathy, which was in short supply lately. It felt like she had been whining to her family and friends about her housemates for a long time. Where once they had placated her, now, whenever she complained of the tiredness to her parents or older sister, she got that familiar nod or raise of the eyebrow. “Students, eh?”
10 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer
There’s no set-in-stone, one-size-fits-all writing advice that will suit everyone. So take the following list as some of what’s worked for me. Take what’s applicable to you and ignore what doesn’t. That leads me to my first tip:
- Like the dating advice says, be yourself! If you want to be a really great writer, there is no point in trying to be the next Dickens or Orwell or even Mayer. Sure, take inspiration from them and learn from what they do well, but don’t try to mimic them exactly. No one remembers the copycats twenty years down the road.
- Read everything you can get your hands on. Even though you shouldn’t try to imitate anyone else, it is good to get an idea of others’ techniques and plots. The more you read, the more inspiration you can draw from…and the more you’ll begin to see what styles you like and what ones you want to avoid.
- Put your bum on a seat and type. This one’s easier said than done sometimes, but if you want to write the next great novel (or even just an okay one), you need to clear time in your schedule to do it. As writers, we’re natural fantasists, which means that we sometimes spend more time imagining writing something than actually putting something—anything—on paper. Break that habit.
- Write crap sometimes. Don’t slow yourself down self-editing in the early stages of writing something. Get the words and major plot points down. You can fix mistakes later; you can’t get back time you robbed from yourself by writing and rewriting something again and again.
- Put your finished story in a drawer (metaphorical or otherwise) and don’t look at it for a while. Finishing a book is like giving birth to a baby; it took ages to get here and, even if it’s a little off, in the first flushes of elation, you’ll think your arrival is the most perfect version of itself. It’s difficult but if you can put your story away for at least a month before rereading it, you’ll spot a lot of errors and issues you wouldn’t have if you hadn’t taken that time to detach emotionally.
- Give yourself time and opportunity to be inspired. I think, as we get older, we forget that it’s okay to not be around someone 24/7—work colleagues, children, family, spouses and partners etc. But time alone—going for a walk, for a meal, to a gallery or whatever—is essential to the creative process. Without time to let your thoughts percolate, don’t be surprised if the muse is very quiet.
- Know when to ask for help… There’s no shame in admitting you don’t know something or that you could stand to improve in certain areas. Don’t be afraid to ask for tips or tricks from writers you know or admire. The worst they can do is say no.
- …equally know when to ignore other people’s opinions. When you’re a new writer (or even if you’re just not the most confident one), it can tempting to ask all and sundry for advice or opinions on what you’re writing and then to implement all those changes.
- Be kind to yourself. Sometimes I read some of what I wrote just a few years ago and I cringe a bit. That’s natural and to me, that’s a good sign—it shows me that I’ve improved. Never beat yourself up about not being perfect or the best. I mean, who really is? Instead, do your best and look back at all those mistakes as part of a learning process. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not growing.
- Find the method that works for you. Especially on the internet, you’ll encounter a lot of people who tell you they know the “right” way to write. They’ll tell you that you should never plot; that you should always plot; that readers hate a lot of scene setting; that you need to take time to create worlds etc. etc. etc. Frankly, those people are BS artists. None of us knows the perfect way to write because there is no perfect way to write other than the one that works for you. Experiment, try out new things, and just do what feels right for you and your story.
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Lucy Carey, Lesbian and Bisexual Romance and Erotic-Fiction Writer
I am a 30-year-old bisexual author who writes the kind of fiction I think other LGBTQ women want to read.
As someone born and raised in Ireland, let me assure you: our country is beautiful…and so are its women.
I aim to introduce you to the best of both—the stunning scenery of the Emerald Isle and its funny, complex, gorgeous, lesbian and bisexual women. I hope you enjoy it.