Category Archives: How to write a book

New Year, New Course! READING FOR WRITERS

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If you are what you eat then minds are certainly what they read. No matter in what direction your tastes lean, all the novels you’ve consumed impact, not only on what, but how, you experience our world. Obviously, most writers … Continue reading

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Writing your draft: how to capture ideas

If you’re on the cusp of a first or a new writing project, congratulations! You’ve bought into the most fun and exciting stage of novel-writing, the invention stage. A blank page needn’t strike terror into your heart, or bring on … Continue reading

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Worldbuilding for science-fiction and fantasy writers

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Novelists of science-fiction or fantasy know worldbuilding is a huge part of the fun of writing, from magical medieval worlds to apocalyptic dystopias. There’s something wonderful about writing brave new worlds. As George R.R. Martin has written: We read fantasy … Continue reading

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12 easy steps to writing your book

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I’ve written a lot of books. I’ve been on bestseller lists, sold all over the world, had my work shortlisted for major awards and been adapted for TV. But you know what? Writing a book still feels like a daunting … Continue reading

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How to Start Writing a Novel: the ten things to do right away

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You want to write a novel? Keen to get going? OK. Fine. Just make sure you do not write your first sentence. Not now, and not any time soon. I mean, you’ll get there soon enough, but first up, you … Continue reading

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The 30 books that every writer has to read

In my last post, I presented a list of books on writing and publishing which would, I think help absolutely any writer improve their approach to their craft and their industry. As part of that same conversation, I was also … Continue reading

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The 30 best books on writing, creativity and getting published

I was recently asked to recommend some books on how to write and on any related topics. I started to trot out the obvious suggestions, then realised there was actually a real trove of material out there. So here, with … Continue reading

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15 common mistakes novelists make

Here at the Writers’ Workshop we see a lot of novels, many hundreds of them every year. And, on the whole, our writers are a pretty admirable and successful bunch. At a rough guess, the average writer has about a … Continue reading

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Days, Months, Years

Had we but world enough and time I’m 100,000 words into Fiona Griffiths #4 – a novel which will probably run to some 120,000 words all told. And it’s going well. Not just in word count, but in feel. A … Continue reading

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Pip Jones on writing her series of children’s stories about an imaginary kitten called Squishy McFluff.

In August 2012 (having spotted the competition on the Writers Workshop website) Pip Jones won the inaugural Greenhouse Funny Prize, with her series of children’s stories about an imaginary kitten called Squishy McFluff. Two months later, she was offered a … Continue reading

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Lessons Learned From the Lost Book Library Part One. A guest post by Richard Blandford

Many assume that having a novel published is a guarantee of immortality, that your work will live on long after you have departed, being perpetually reborn in the minds of successive future generations of readers.  Unfortunately, this isn’t the case … Continue reading

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A Ghost’s Tale

Leigh Ferrani is a ghostwriter, one of whose projects grew out of a commission that came to her via the Writers’ Workshop. Here’s her story of how that commission grew into co-scripting a possible Hollywood film. Oh, and the book … Continue reading

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The unclefts of firststuffs

We all know that English is a magpie language, right? There’s not much of Celtic left in it, to be sure, give or take the odd dolmen or loch. There’s not even as much Viking as you might expect, give … Continue reading

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Writing without madness: how to layer up

One of the challenges in writing a half-decent novel is that the damn thing is so complicated. For most of us, I guess, it’s the plot which produces the most brain-ache. Just think of the number of little parts that … Continue reading

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Two thousand words a day (or: How To Write A Mediocre Novel)

Starting novels is easy. Finishing them is hard. Consequently, perhaps a lot of writers advise setting yourself daily word count target. You see that Word Count Is All advice all over the place, including here, here and (gosh) even here. … Continue reading

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