Hello Bookworms, I am so thrilled to be sharing a guest post(my first one ever!) on my blog! Thank you so much to Alex Finlay; author of the marvellous thriller Every Last Fear for being a part of this. This book is a must-read for thriller and mystery lovers, and beware…it’s incredibly addicting.
Like most authors, I often get asked this question: What’s your best writing advice? I’d like to say that my answer is something original, something profound. But the truth is, it boils down to three words. A tip I learned from one of the most famous writing guides, Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style.
What are those three words, you ask? As a suspense writer, a trick of the trade is to be coy, make you wait, so that you keep reading. But since Erin asked me to keep this post brief, I’ll get to it:
“Omit needless words.”
The rule captures not just keeping sentences and paragraphs clutter free, but also so many things that can bog down a story, like overlong descriptions of places or people, too much backstory, excessive inner monologue, and unnecessary flashbacks. So those three words are my lodestar. To celebrate the release of my novel Every Last Fear, I’d even planned to get them tattooed on my forearm. Sadly, COVID prevented that (along with a revolt from my family who said I am decidedly not cool enough to pull off the tattoo).
Still, if Every Last Fear sells well, and the world opens up, I might be able to sneak over to the tattoo parlor upon the release of my next book. But if you see me wearing long sleeves in the summer, please don’t ask…
Until then, thanks to the amazing Erin, and stay well.
Here it is with Erin’s unnecessary commentary, and just as Alex taught us to omit needless words, I am doing the exact opposite(sorry…). Thank you so much to Alex for sharing this piece of advice, as a writer myself it’s tough to fight the urge when I want to ramble on and on for pages, but it’s important to be reminded that quantity does not always mean quality!
About Alex Finlay
Alex Finlay is the author of EVERY LAST FEAR, a novel selected as an Amazon Editor’s pick, an Indie Next pick, a LibraryReads selection, as well as a Newsweek, CNN, Goodreads, BuzzFeed, E!, and Reader’s Digest best or most-anticipated thriller of 2021.
Every Last Fear
Every Last Fear is a devastating murder mystery and psychological thriller about the destruction of a whole family whose little town has turned against them. Matt Pine escaped his family by going to university, but now they are all dead and he must return to claim their bodies.
Thanks for reading! Every Last Fear is out now! Which genre do you read most often?