Write like nobody is ever going to read it.
Give yourself the freedom to explore new words, sentences and pages. Allow yourself the indulgence to delete thousands of words, the scope to rewrite, the discretion to change your mind.
Let the characters in your head take over. Jump on for the ride, not caring about the final destination. Concentrate on the journey, the joy of creating a story ,bringing the voices in your head to the page.
All easier said than done. Less complicated to dance like nobody is watching.
But when you let the writing take over, the joy of creation will take hold.
Forget deadlines for a while. Forget about editors, agents and the expectations of readers. Forget about any bestselling status and forget about foreign translations.
Don’t bother with Amazon rankings, if your book is doing well, they will be falling over themselves to tell you when you burst through the barriers in to the top five.
Ernest Hemingway said there is nothing to writing, you just sit at the typewriter and bleed.
Best do that bleeding alone, when you have control over the flow.
This is the time, which I think is the most important in writing a novel. Alone with the characters in my head, I build this world to my specifications.
The narrator takes me by the hand and together we construct our world, a place we hope to later share with many readers.
For my fifth book, An Ocean Between Us that world became a house on a Georgian square in Dublin city. The long windows looked over the private park, an oasis that became more important as the story developed.
This book is where I retreated to live a secret life with my characters. Slowly the story emerged, pulling me in to dig even deeper.
The novel asks the question: What if your life was built on a lie…?
When Cora Gartland in New York learns that her long-term partner, Jack, has been killed in a car crash in Ireland, her world falls apart. But then she is told that there was a woman in the car with him, a woman identified as his wife Amelia.
Devastated, she hops on a plane to Dublin to try to make sense of Jack’s secret life. As she grieves, she must learn to survive, and to do that she must find the truth. What else has he been keeping from her and how will she survive this betrayal?
Cora Gartland had the perfect life in Long Island or so she thought. Now she must grapple with the many secrets of Jack’s life as she , at the same time grieves for the man she loved.
In shock and desperate to know more, she moves in to the big old Georgian house at DeCourcy Square, Dublin .The house is as Jack and Amelia had left it on the day of their death.
As Cora delves deep in to Jack’s other life, she learns about Amelia.
She also gets to know her neighbours and the residents of DeCourcy Square.
Next door Lily is trying to turn her life around, following the death of her husband in recent years.The two women become friends, leaning on each other as they both take brave new steps.
Both women also become embroiled in the battle to save the lovely park at the heart of DeCourcy Square.Neither Lily or Cora realise their actions will unearth the biggest secret of all and it will take all their strength to survive it. They must fight to find themselves and both women must learn to trust again, before they can move on.
Central to the novel is the friendship between the women of DeCourcy Square and how they hold each other up as crisis follows crisis. But this is also a story of hope, a story of friendship and of the enduring power of love.
The symbolic language of flowers is seeded throughout the book so the reader is brought on a journey, learning the nuances and the significance of even the most humble flowers in our back gardens.
Before weaving this new imagery through the novel, I first had to learn the secret code of flowers.
I went with the flow of writing and found myself in a new and unexpected world of flowers.
How lucky was I to get the opportunity to spend so long in this new place and learn its secret language. I found the more I studied the symbolic language of flowers, the more specific and interesting my choices became for my own garden.
By the time I was ready to let my agent and editor in to the world of An Ocean Between Us, my own garden was in full bloom and telling its own story.
Every year when my flowers bloom, I will fondly remember writing this novel and the joy and great freedom, when I just sat down and let my fingers travel across the keyboard. Many edits later, the novel is placed on bookshelves, but for me, An Ocean Between Us symbolises the great joy of freedom of just being let write.
(c) Ann O’Loughlin
About An Ocean Between Us:
What if your life was built on a lie…?
When Cora Gartland learns that her long-term partner, Jack, has been killed in a car crash in Ireland her world falls apart. But then she is told that there was a woman in the car with him, a woman identified as his wife Amelia.
Devastated, she flies to Dublin to try to make sense of Jack’s secret life. As she grieves, she must learn to survive, and to do that she must find the truth. What else has he been keeping from her and how will she survive this betrayal…?
A compelling and emotional novel of families and the secrets we keep…
Order your copy online here.