A page for all you writers out there to (hopefully) inspire you to keep writing!
How long does it take you to write a book?
I plan everything out first in my notebook. When that's done, I try to write a minimum of 1,000 words a day. I find if I take a break from writing it can be hard to get back into it, so I try not to miss any days. It’s always difficult to reach my word count target when I begin a story, but as I get to know the characters and story better, I pick up speed. My record is 16,000 in a day. It was a VERY long day!
In general, I spend about 4 months planning and 4 to 5 months writing.
How did you get published?
I sent in my manuscript to twelve agents in London…Read More…
7 Things I’ve Learned So Far
By M.M.Vaughan (as first appeared in Writers Digest)
1) Don’t send your manuscript out to every agent at once. I learned this by mistake. I made a list of twelve agents that I wanted to send my book to and prepared a submission pack for each one. I then realized that I only had three stamps so I sent three out and decided that I might as well wait and see how they responded before sending the rest. I’m glad I did. All three turned it down and all three mentioned that they didn’t like synopsis. I rewrote the synopsis (which, in fairness, was awful) and sent out the manuscript to the remaining seven agents on my list. Five said yes! Maybe they would have been interested anyway, who knows, but it makes sense to submit in batches to take advantage of any feedback you might get.
2) No news means … absolutely nothing. As the least patient person I know, I have had somewhat of a difficult time dealing with how slowly everything in publishing happens. To help me sleep, I have now devised a formula which (just about) keeps me on the right side of sane…Read More…
MY FAVOURITE BOOKS ON WRITING
On Writing by Stephen King
Even if you’re not a fan of his books, you have to admit that Stephen King knows a thing or two about writing books that people want to read. This book has inspired me and helped me for many, many years and, even though I can pretty much quote parts of it from memory, I still dip back into it regularly.
An Editor’s Advice To Writers: The Forest for the Trees by Besty Lerner
This book was beyond valuable when I was in the process of writing my first book and had nobody in the industry to ask for advice. It’s packed full of genuinely helpful information on what editors and agents look for from new writers.
Writers’ & Artists Yearbook 2019 (UK) / Writers Market 2019 (USA)
You can’t get a book deal without knowing who to send your finished manuscript to - which makes this book invaluable. It lists every agent and publisher in the UK (USA if you’re reading Writers Market), their submission guidelines, types of books they are looking for, and contact details. It also comes with great articles by big names in the industry that makes it worth getting a copy of each new edition, even after you’ve secured an agent and publisher :)
Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors On How And Why They Do What They Do
I have a friend who finds reading work by brilliant authors puts him off writing. I get it, but I feel very differently and so, for that reason, I love this book. Reading about the writing rituals, background and motivation of the great writers included in this book fires me up to write more, and to always keep trying to write more good :)
Masterclass - Online Classes Taught By The World’s Greatest Minds
Not a book, I know, but I have to mention Masterclass. It’s a subscription website with courses run by the best of the best in all sorts of fields. For writing (including journalism and screenwriting), you’ve got Margaret Atwood, Dan Brown, James Patterson, Judy Blume, Shonda Rhimes, R.L.Stine, Aaron Sorkin, David Mamet, Bob Woodward and, one of my all-time favourite writers, Malcolm Gladwell. I don’t know how they’ve managed to get so many inspirational people involved - well, I could take a guess - but it’s the instructors commitment to the project that really stands out. They share so much and it’s the ultimate in inspiration. It seems pricey , but not when you see what you get. Can’t recommend enough (non-paid promotion!).
10 Best Places To Write In London
I spend a lot of time with a friend of mine looking for the perfect place to write. We have our own set of requirements (she needs wi-fi for her research and I need Diet Coke - both are deal-breakers) and, as we live on opposite ends of London, it needs to be a fairly central or East End location (though I've thrown a Putney one in there for good measure). It’s actually been surprisingly difficult to find somewhere that feels just right, though it could be that we’re just looking for excuses to visit new places. So, here, in no particular order, are our top ten places to write and their pros and cons:
1. The Riverfront at BFI Southbank, Southbank
Pros: My favourite place to write in London by far, mostly for the creative buzz and the views of the river when I look up from my laptop. Free wi-fi. Plenty of space. Snacks and an affordable menu if you get peckish. Nobody cares, or notices, if you spend the whole day nursing only a single cup of coffee. The bar upstairs at the BFI is great too. It's only getting a brief mention here though because I'm not a big fan of sofas to work at (I just want to curl up and read a book), and you can't see the river.
Cons: It gets VERY busy after work hours and on the weekends. I know many people are bothered by noise when working - I'm actually fine with it - but I'm not so much of a fan of people reading my work over my shoulder when it gets so full that I have to share my table. Headphones and brightness setting on laptop at lowest recommended for night owls like me.
Pros: Oh, it’s just so gorgeous - I want to live here! Incredibly hip and, well, it’s called The Book Club, which of course makes it the perfect place to write. Free wi-fi. Loads of events, workshops etc on in the evenings - worth keeping an eye on the schedule.
Cons: It gets very busy. Sometimes closes during the day for events…Read More…