About Me

Hi! I'm Becca Fitzpatrick, the author of the internationally bestselling HUSH, HUSH saga. When not writing, I'm most likely running, prowling sale racks for shoes (stilettos, please!), or enjoying one of life's many little indulgences: Ice cream, Veronica Mars, losing myself in a book, painting my toenails, or simply daydreaming. I do my best to update this blog as frequently as possible with news on upcoming events, tips for writers, and all things pertaining to my books.

14 June 2012


As I'm going through fanmail, I'm noticing a trend: lots of readers are writing a book of their own and looking for general writing and editing tips. While I can't promise my advice will work for you, here is a short list of things that have helped me.

First, READ. It seems obvious, but more often than not, I have the following conversation with aspiring authors:

Me: You want to write a book? That's great! What are some of your favorite books?

Them: Oh, I don't read much. I don't have time. But I really want to write a book.


Many, many authors have said it, and I'll say it once more for good measure. Writing is reading. It's virtually impossible to do one without the other. I'm willing to bet most of the world's greatest writers are also wonderful readers. I suggest reading everything you can get your hands on, even if it's a genre you've shied away from in the past. Study books. See what works, and what doesn't. Read for fun, and read for learning. Your writing will improve because of it. I promise.

Second, keep a journal. I wrote faithfully in my journal beginning in junior high school and lasting through college. Looking back, it was great practice in free-writing. I developed my writer's voice. I also recorded my adolescent years, and I refer back to those years often now that I write teen fiction. You never know when an event from your own life will inspire a story. It's happened to me multiple times!

Third, join a critique group. Ask your local bookstore or library if they can direct you to a writers' group. If they can't, consider joining an online group. Sharing my work with others, and getting their feedback, has helped my writing tremendously. But I'll let you in on a little secret. I've learned more about the craft of writing from critiquing others' work. Forcing my brain to distinguish what works, and what doesn't, has helped me grow as a writer.

Next, try pantsing. If that doesn't work, try outlining. When I first started writing Hush, Hush, I drafted the book by the seat of my pants. I let the words flow. I gave no forethought to the story, because I thought organic writing happened when the writer let the story sprout uninhibited from the wellsprings of their mind. I've since changed my viewpoint. I'm a hardcore outliner. I spend 3-6 weeks plotting out my stories before I type, "Once upon a time..." Outlining works wonders for me. Warning: It might not do the same for you.

Finally, trust your instincts. If you're worried the middle of your book sags, it probably does. If you think your hero is lackluster, he probably is. The good news? Up until your book is published, you have time to change all those story weaknesses into strengths. Don't rush the editing process. Spend enough time to make the book the best you can. After the book is published, and readers' reactions start pouring in, you'll be glad you did.



readerfreak22 said...

Those are amazing tips! I am writing a book and I am younger as in 12/13. A lot of people believe I can do it but others don't think I can as much as others. Um, this really helped me because like I said I am younger and I really hope that someday I will get published and ya. So thanks =)

A. J. Bradley said...

I really like your tip to join a critique group, not just to receive feedback, but to LEARN through analyzing someone else's work. Hadn't thought of it that way, thanks!

Alison said...

These are great tips! Usually, I feel people give really general tips but I felt that these were well worth my time reading.

Morgan said...

Thank you for the tips! I agree that reading more makes you a better writer, as well as critiquing the books you're reading.
My Mum critiques my writing, she's read SO many novels and tells me straight out if something is lagging or if it's good.
I outlined most of my novel before I started writing, but it's the chapters I didn't outline that are hardest. But some of them turn out to be wonderful, I just have to find the exact inspiration I need to start writing them!
I've read that your first book is never successful, this scares me because I've been writing my first book for almost 7 years now and I've only got 35,000 words! Life has definitely got in the way, but I wouldn't change that for anything. What is your opinion on this? Was Hush, Hush your first complete book? Or were there many before you were published? And if you don't mind me asking, how long did it take you to write Hush, Hush? Did you write it while working, etc? Or did you solely focus on writing?
Thanks again for the tips, it's nice to know I'm on the right track! - Morgan

Lucia Bogdanovsk√° said...

Hi Becca,
I´m really happy, that I found this blog and that here I can tell you that your books are amazing and fantastic, and you must be very inteligent and interesting person :D :D.I told to all my friends about your stories and now we all are a really big fans and we are looking for next book so much as we can.Your books make me smile, laugh, and sometimes I was shocked how a good writer you are.Best!And...I love Patch!! :D :D :D This holidays I want to write my own book (second, because I´ve written one on may about One Direction)and I hope that it´ll be good.I´m sure that your tips will help me.Thank you :D.
And sorry for my english, I´m from Slovakia.:D :D Can you follow me on Twitter? My name is @Lucy_Lulu_Lucy.
BIG HUG TO YOU ! :D :D :D :D Have a nice day.
Your fan-Lucy :D