If there was a Royal Family of women's magazine fiction then Della Galton would undoubtedly be the Queen! Hundreds of her stories have appeared in magazines like Take a Break, Woman's Weekly, My Weekly and The People's Friend and if there's one person who knows what it takes to crack this market it's Della.
Earlier this year I travelled across the country to attend one of Della's workshops and when I heard that she was bringing out a 'how to' book I couldn't WAIT for it to come out.
Last week my copy finally arrived - and I wasn't disappointed. This is the book I wish had been published when I first started subbing to the women's magazine (womag) market back in 2005. If you're a complete beginner and haven't got the first idea:
a) what to write
b) where to submit it
b) how to submit it
then this is the book for you. Della tells you, in no uncertain terms, what types of stories work (and which don't) and how you should format them for the magazine editors. Like most books on short story writing she also covers:
- finding ideas and inspiration
- turning your idea into a workable plot line
- writing effective dialogue
- creating believable and sympathetic characters
- flashback and time span
- using a theme
- structure and pace
but what I particularly enjoyed about this book was the way Della asked (and answered!) questions that we all find ourselves asking at some point like - 'What to do if your plot doesn't work' and 'How much physical description should you use?' She uses examples from her own stories to illustrate her points and also includes extracts of fiction by other authors to show what she admires. Oh, and each chapter ends with 'Tips from the experts' - other published writers - including our very own womagwriter.
Even if you're not a complete beginner when it comes to womag stories there's still lots to learn from Della's book and I've got a feeling mine will become very well thumbed over the next couple of months. Highly recommended!