Want to write a novel? Here are eight win­ning tips from So­phie:

Fairlady - - BOOK EXTRACT -

Write some­thing that you would like to read your­self

Just think: if you were a reader, what would you want to read? The chances are high that if you would grab that book off the shelf then other peo­ple would too. That’s the story that you should write, some­thing that will please you.

Ask your­self ‘what if’

You can teach your­self to tease a tiny thing into some­thing else, have fun with it and see the po­ten­tial in any­thing – start to see the world in a ‘what if’ way.

Al­ways carry a note­book.

Ev­ery­where. Even if it seems ir­rel­e­vant, note down what­ever springs to mind. You can do so much with a pass­ing thought or a snip­pet of over­heard con­ver­sa­tion. Don’t worry about what ‘it’ is go­ing to be; just get into the habit of not­ing down ev­ery­thing and then when you have your big idea you’ll have ma­te­rial ready to work with.

Plan your books

Start­ing off with a be­gin­ning, a mid­dle and an end is vi­tal. The plan­ning stage can take months, if not years. When I’m writ­ing I do it in my of­fice, but for plan­ning I like sit­ting in cof­fee shops – I like the buzz, and I like be­ing sur­rounded by peo­ple but re­main­ing anony­mous.

Write your plot points on file cards

I write my key points on cards and Blu Tack them to the wall. Then I stand back and look at the ter­rain of the story. This way I can de­cide if I like it – if not, just move it around. I also find that dur­ing writ­ing the story, some­thing will change, so I can move my cards around if needed.

Don’t worry about the genre

It is re­ally dif­fi­cult to find your voice as a writer, and even harder if you’re try­ing to fit into a genre. Just write your story and wait for other peo­ple to put it into a genre – maybe you’ll in­vent a whole new one!

Just keep go­ing

This one is es­pe­cially ap­pro­pri­ate. It’s the hardest thing to do but it’s so im­por­tant. Ev­ery­one reaches a wall, either a plot hole or a scene that doesn’t make sense, but you have to keep on go­ing to get to the end. Even if it isn’t the best draft – at least you have a book to re­write!

Drink cock­tails!

There is noth­ing worse than star­ing at a screen when you get stuck. If I get stuck, I’ll go out with my hus­band and we’ll order cock­tails and talk it over. By the end, we’ve al­ways ironed out the plot and I’m ready to write again.

Read more at www. so­phiekin­sella.co.uk

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.