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‘Get a second opinion – one you can trust’

Establishing your writing style from Complete Creative Writing Course, by Chris Sykes   Criticism and encouragement   Who should you show your work to for a second opinion? It seems natural to show your writing to husbands, wives, partners, family members and friends. It has to be said that these are not always the best […]

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‘The book isn’t finished when the writer puts their last full stop on the last sentence’

‘The book isn’t finished when the writer puts their last full stop on the last sentence’ I think it’s important for authors to realise they will have to undergo several drafts of their work before it’s ready to go to an agent or a publisher. Often, I will receive something that clearly hasn’t had the […]

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‘Editing a first draft can feel like trying to scrub a hippopotamus’

How should someone approach editing their first draft? Editing a first draft can feel like trying to scrub a hippopotamus. It seems like there’s too much to ever get clean. To remedy this, I break down the edit into components. For example—Dialogue. Or setting. Or, sentence length. Or even the particular emotional arc of just […]

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‘Be fearless and have a vision for completion’

‘Be fearless and have a vision for completion’ from Write a Novel in 10 Minutes A Day, by Katharine Grubb   When you revise you are making changes that have to do with logic, clarity and artistic choices. When you edit, you make changes that have to do with the technical mechanics of language: grammar, […]

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‘Beta readers aren’t just helpful, they’re vital’

  How helpful are beta readers? Enormously. It’s all very well knowing what you want to say and how you want to say it, but even the best writers need some new perspectives sometimes, to point out what you might have missed – those small plot points you had in your head but forgot to […]

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How do I redraft my novel?

Are you an unagented, unpublished writer, who feels underrepresented in publishing? We urge you to take part in our open submissions week from 1-7 December 2017. Click here for more information.            

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‘Encounter your own work as a stranger might’

Start revising your sentences before you move on to structure from Get Started in Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy by Adam Roberts   It’s good not to overthink the process of rewriting. Certainly, it’s possible to break the process of revision into many layers – to revise each sentence, to consider each paragraph and determine […]

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‘Your book needs time to percolate in your brain’

‘Your book needs time to percolate in your brain’ So, you’ve written a book. Hooray! Time to call the agents in and get it out to any and all readers as soon as possible, right? *Family Fortunes buzzer* Sorry, that’s not on the board.   I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but […]

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‘If pages hold my attention, even after many readings, then the pages work’

  How do you tell which parts of your novel aren’t working? The novel isn’t working when it bores me to read it. If pages hold my attention, even after many readings, then the pages work. If they don’t hold my attention, the book has stalled. So then you have to come at things from […]

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Ask an Agent – the dos and don’ts when approaching a literary agent

For those of you who missed the live Twitter Q&A session with literary agent Lucy Luck, here’s a quick catch-up. There are tips on writing, researching and submitting a novel, as well as some agent insights into the decision process. Writing                                                                                                                                  Q: What are the biggest writing flaws you see in submissions/that stop you […]

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‘Know the rules… but there are exceptions to everything’

Establishing your writing style   from Write Short Stories and Get Them Published by Zoë Fairbairns   Like other kinds of style (your hairstyle, your style of dress, your way of decorating and furnishing your home), your writing style will emerge from a mixture of rules, conventions, practicalities and personal choices.   As a creative […]

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