The best-selling English novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford started her career as a journalist before going on to write novels which have all become major worldwide sellers. Her debut novel, A Woman of Substance (1979), is one of the top ten best-selling books of all time. Her books have sold more than 92 million copies throughout the world and ten of them have been turned into miniseries or television movies. She is, without a doubt, one of the most successful writers over the last forrty years.
In a recent interview with Gotham Magazine, she not only talked about her latest novel Cavendon Hall, but gave some tips for those also wanting to be a best-selling author.
“I don’t know what that secret is (for turning out so many best-sellers), because if you say you’re going to sit down and write a best seller, you probably won’t. But in terms of writing, you’ve got to want to do it so much that you’re willing to sacrifice your social life and everything to write that book!”
“Once you’ve got the main characters, plan the story… Graham Greene once said, character is plot. The character of the protagonist is the protagonist’s destiny. Then you’ve got to do an outline. I say to everybody, ‘Don’t just sit down and think it will come to you.’ Plan it. An outline serves as my blueprint – it tells me where I’m going.”
“You’ve got to write every day and rewrite. Do it again and again until you get it right. You can’t write just when you feel like it, which is what a lot of people think I do. I have a schedule. I have 10-hour days, most days, but I’m not writing the whole time. I’m doing research, editing, and thinking about characters and plots.”
Read more of Barbara’s advice at Gotham Magazine.