"Gosh", people sometimes say to me, often from a considerable distance because I have a look in my eye that suggests I might throw things at them if they come closer, "I'd really like to write a book!" Then they look at my ragged clothes and my unheated, damp house and add, "A successful one though." And then, cautiously, sometimes poking me with a stick, "Can you give me some advice?"
So I thought I'd use this blog to give that advice, without the poor souls having to come any closer to me. Can't really help with the 'successful' bit, but I can tell you about how to go about starting...
2. Make sure you have a Big Enough Idea. That interesting thing that happened to you once won't even fill a chapter, trust me. Your characters have to grow and change and develop over the course of a novel, and dropping an ice cream won't do that. Unless your character is the Incredible Hulk, of course, Because I imagine dropping his ice cream would make the Hulk grow and change quite a lot.
4. Write. And, whilst writing, ask yourself if everything you are putting in that book is necessary. Remember what I said about characters growing and changing (and possibly ripping their trousers, if they are the Hulk)? Well, every word must either move your story on or develop your characters. No lengthy discussions about dresses, please.
5. Finish it. Doesn't matter if you hate it by the time you get to the end, we all hate every word we've written once we get to the end. But the road to Writing a Novel is paved with unfinished first chapters, you need to stick with it and keep going. It will feel like pulling teeth and you will pray for death around about 50,000 words, but Keep Going. We will talk about making something readable out of what you've written, next time.
Book Review: The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale - Robert Dinsdale’s The Toymakers is a wonderful Do you remember when you believed in magic? It is 1917, and while war wages across Europe, in the heart of L...
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