Writing a book: advice pages

Ideas, concepts, inspiration

Nothing is harder to come by - or more important - than inspiration. And it's not enough to be inspired: you need a concept that a publisher is also likely to get excited by. So here are our tips:

Story, plot and pacing

The heart of a book is its story. Get that right and readers will overlook a lot of other lapses. Get it wrong and your book will not be saleable. So get it right:


Any good story needs strong, convincing characters to populate it. Even if you're writing a true story (a memoir or travel book, for example), you need to bring your characters to life on the page. Here's how to do it:

Prose style and editing your work

Writers need to care as passionately about the way they tell the story as they do about the story itself. That means paying attention to your sentences - they need to matter as much to you as paint does to a painter. And remember that good writing is usually good re-writing - so be prepared to put in the hours.

Getting help

Have we remembered to mention that writing a book is quite hard? But help is at hand: