Stephen King is another phenomenally successful author, who has shifted over 350 million books. He's got quite a way to go before he reaches, Christie, but he's not doing too badly.
As well as keeping his readers on the edge of their seats with his contemporary horrors King also penned a veritable bible for wannabe popular fiction authors in his memoir, On Writing. In it, he provides many pearls of wisdom, including these:
1. Get to the point
King believes that authors can get too wrapped up in poetic descriptions and unnecessary phrases. His advice is to get to the point as quickly as possible.
2. Sit on your first draft for a while
Not literally, of course; but in On Writing, Stephen King advises placing your first draft in a drawer and not touching it for a while. How long a while? Well, he sometimes leaves manuscripts for several months before tackling the editing process. Coming back to the piece with fresh eyes can certainly prove helpful.
3. Be brutal when it comes to cutting out unnecessary text
This piece of advice goes hand-in-hand with No.1 and boils down to King's opinion that you should never waste a reader's time. You might love a particular sentence, but if it ain't absolutely necessary, then it's gotta go.
4. Don't worry about what others might think
This is really just good advice for life, rather than a useful tip for writing. Stephen King states that taking too notice of critics can be paralysing. Of course, if you want to be a mainstream author, what people think of your work matters, but you can't let any opinion prevent you from writing.
5. Read...a lot!
Reading, almost anything, is a great way to pick things up - an event in the newspaper may give you inspiration or you might subconsciously be picking something up about structure while reading the latest James Patterson.