Thinking about how to make your novel better? Here are two of the key ways for the budding or improving writer to make huge improvements to their stories and to improve their confidence in their skills.
No traditional publisher or literary agent wants to take on a book or a writer who hasn’t already come a long way on the road to being a polished author. Your job as author is to show them that your book is ready for that. Here’s how you do it.
If you’re deciding whether your book is ready for editing, first read my thoughts on the editing process and what it can offer you, when you’re ready.
Claire Fayers will be joining me on Clubhouse for a discussion and Q&A on 23rd September 2021 at 8pm (UK time). This is an exciting opportunity to listen to a traditionally published author give her experiences of being a writer of children’s books – and maybe even ask your own question!
Whether you’re a new writer or writing your third novel, a community to share ideas and receive encouragement is something special.
Follow my Club (Writers’ Pool) on Clubhouse to get this benefit. A community for writers to discuss, collaborate and support each other. It’s a non-judgemental, non-stuffy space which welcomes writers of all experience levels. It’s about helping each other up rather than knocking each other down.
Deciding whether to create a plot or a character first can be a challenge. Writing fiction can feel like going around in circles, constantly changing your mind about which element to focus on – plot or character.
There’s a short answer and a long answer.
Writers find it hard to put their story ideas onto paper for various reasons. It can be an unhealthy degree of perfectionism. It can be a lack of confidence in their skill or originality. It can be the lack of a writing habit – that is, a lack of consistent practice. A new writer often meets a stumbling block early on when they realise that writing a novel (or any other book) is not as simple as they first thought.
Perfectionism is a common trait amongst writers. It is especially true of fiction writers, who often spend hours worrying over their exact word choices and word order. They might lose half an hour deliberating over a comma. Does this sound like you?
If you recognise yourself in this, then know this. Perfectionism is not serving you.
You want to write a novel. You’ve got some story ideas bouncing around your head, but you don’t know how to even begin. Every novel you read makes you want to write your own book too, yet it also scares you.
Those novels you read are just so… good. They’re polished and clever and well written. It makes you feel that you could never write something good enough so you maybe shouldn’t bother.
The advice writers are most often given is ‘show don’t tell’. In Facebook writing groups, critique groups, writers’ circles, creative writing workshops, the mantra is ‘show don’t tell’. What does it even mean? What are you supposed to achieve with that? It sounds confusing. It sounds like you’re meant to draw pictures for your readers rather than write them a story.
Many writers wish they knew how to write a story that will make someone cry. They want to know how to make their readers feel such strong emotion that they sob while reading about fictional characters. How do you do that?
It seems that every business owner wants to know how to write a book to generate leads. They want to stand out from the crowd. They want to attract more clients and position themselves as an expert in their industry. How do you write a book that will generate leads for your business?