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How To Write A Novel

You will find advice here to help you on your writing journey. Use the search bar or browse through the categories to get a taste of the kind of insights and shortcuts we use to fast track our writers. 
Novel Writing Tips The Hero Three Wise Drafts Omniscient Insight Don't Try So Hard! How To Begin The One Hour A Day Method

The New Publisher.

Sep 15, 2019

The Novelry is delighted to announce the launch of our own publishing imprint.

We have the inside track on some fine work at The Novelry, and it seems natural and right that we offer an additional publishing route for the wonderful work which comes to our attention here first.

For some while, I have been considering the route to market for works of literary fiction, those books which wouldn't automatically bag a mainstream publishing deal. These are the books which get awards listings and are thus propelled to success.

There are some wonderful small publishers taking a chance on books like these - Galley Beggar Press with its Booker Prize shortlisting for Lucy Ellman's book Ducks, Newburyport - Salt, Fitzcarraldo Editions and others but these publishers are only able to take on a handful of titles a year, sometimes just two or three.

More small publishers, bold and independent, are needed! 

If you're writing commercial fiction, we will send you to...

Read on...

Good Morning!

Sep 08, 2019

Morning Folks,

Happy is the writer with a habit! The routine wins the day. Most of my writers follow the encouragement we give to write first thing, fresh from dreams, emboldened by coffee and in advance of the maddening crowds, the kids and the day job.

Part of our method for getting writers to complete their novels is blatant bribery. I suggest writers grant themselves a few perks during the writing of the first draft and bribe themselves out of bed. Upgrade your coffee-making, get a few indulgent pastries in. (No one said you'd lose weight writing a novel.) The course has you prepare your time and space before you start writing so that you get out of bed and go somewhere really special to you.

It's a great feeling to have your really important work out of the way before you attend to lesser emergencies! Don't switch on that phone, don't check email, take one hour for yourself and you'll see how enriching it is not just for your novel in progress but for your wellbeing.

...
Read on...

Pushkin snaps up debut by The Novelry graduate

Sep 02, 2019
 

Pushkin will publish Susie Bower's children's debut next year. 

Susie decided to turn her hand to children's fiction and took the Classic Course at The Novelry. She wrote her novel with The Ninety Day Novel course and edited with our Editing Course, of course! The Novelry was pleased to introduce Susie's work to our partner literary agency PFD.

A home run!

Sarah Odedina, editor-at-large for Pushkin Children’s Books, has bought UK and Commonwealth rights in School for Nobodies from Silvia Molteni at PFD.

Odedina said: "This lovely novel has the perfect blend of excitement, emotional power and magic to hook any young reader and Susie’s super confident world-building makes this one of the most assured debuts I have read for some time."

Bower lives in Bristol and when she is not writing fiction she writes audio scripts, transporting children anywhere from the Jurassic age to the depths of the ocean. She is also known for writing and directing TV programmes for...

Read on...

Congratulations!

Aug 29, 2019
THE WINNER!
 
Many congratulations to our beloved Louise Tucker who has written a novel that's winning the hearts of readers.
 
From The Bookseller:

Louise Tucker has won the inaugural Lost the Plot Work in Progress Prize for her "tender, moving, beautifully drawn" novel.

The award for unfinished manuscripts was launched earlier this year by Peters Fraser + Dunlop e-book imprint Agora Books.

Tucker wins a consultation with an Agora editor and a PFD agent. She was selected from 377 entries by a judging panel of Agora publisher Kate Evans, Bookseller Rising Star and PFD literary agent Marilia Savvides, author Laura Pearson, and book blogger Amanda Chatteron.

Her novel is described as a “touching tale of aging, grief, and self-discovery” about main character George, whose day of celebration turns into one of misery.

Tucker said: “I am so delighted to win the Lost the Plot Work in Progress Prize. The main character,...

Read on...

Our Literary Agents

Aug 25, 2019
 

A year ago, Peters, Fraser + Dunlop contacted me, taking note of the quality of work coming out of The Novelry and asked whether an association might be useful for all parties. So, I went to meet with Tessa David and Tim Bates of PFD on New Oxford Street and we had a chat about the kind of writing that excites us all. We agreed to work together to progress talent coming out of The Novelry, and I asked them for one thing; that the Novelry's graduates get VIP treatment. When I submit work on my writers' behalf, the agency should give us an expression of interest within two weeks. 

Since then other agents have been in touch with The Novelry asking to be on our list for first sight of great novels as they emerge hot from our oven, and I've made contact with agents I know to be wonderful advocates of their writers' work in genres useful to my writers. The same deal applies to all - no slush pile! A two-week reading and response time (and gentle and courteous treatment...

Read on...

Take a note!

Aug 17, 2019
 

The late Barbara Cartland was a prolific writer, even in her eighties she was writing 23 books a year including A Virgin in Mayfair, Cupid Rides Pillion, The Frightened Bride, The Elusive Earl, The Disgraceful Duke and The Knave of Hearts. 

She reclined on a red velvet sofa in the opulent library where, every afternoon, she'd  dictate the next 6,500-word chapter of another book to her literary secretary.

“It’s less ponderous than writing."

She completed a novel on average every two weeks.

Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo) was also accustomed to dictating his novels to a secretary before they were fashioned into his acclaimed works. Stendhal dictated The Charterhouse of Parma to a secretary from Nov. 4 to Dec 26 1838, over 50 days.

Henry James used a secretary to transcribe his spoken words, ushering in a new era of productivity for him which culminated in The Wings of the Dove, widely regarded as one of his finest...

Read on...

Over Here, Overachievers!

Aug 11, 2019
 

Many of my beloved writers suffer from a sickness called overachievement - 'the curse of the capable'.

It's a condition for which there seems to be no cure, and yet perhaps there is.

Both intelligent and intuitive, overachievers find their way to The Novelry because they have a feeling the cure is inside the long story. And they're right. 

As we all know, stories have many therapeutic benefits either en masse or taken one at a time. We explore the 'eucatastrophe', the deliverance from evil, described by Tolkien in the Classic Course, and look too at what life problems and psychological ills were chronicled in fairy takes. A little bit of 'doctor heal thyself' is prescribed in the Classic Course which asks you to dig deep into your experience and first loved stories to find the seed of the story you need to write. The translation of your 'wound; into fiction is healing; you hold the problem at arm's length, name it and deal with it. 

...

Read on...

Lost and Found. A Member's Story.

Aug 04, 2019

Members News.

A bonanza week with one of our novelists hitting the shortlist of five for The Bath Novel Award 2019. There were 1343 entries so this is a very meaningful coup. We are all beside ourselves with excitement at The Novelry, and hoping our beloved friend will scoop the prize on September 19th as she deserves.

Congratulations to our beloved graduate Rashmi Sirdeshpande on publication of her book "How To Be Extraordinary" courtesy of Penguin Books.

We always have plenty to cheer about, even on a slow day, and this week a number of our writers finished their novels - Jane, Andrew, Jacqui and Aprajita. Well done to all of you. 


This week's blog is courtesy of one of our member's, Kate Tregaskis.

Getting Lost. (A Member's Story.)

I’ve been writing my current novel for approximately three hundred years. Having written and finished one before, inexperience is not the problem. In fact, I have also finished this one, a few times. But it has bounced back from...

Read on...

On The Shortlist!

Jul 31, 2019

We are delighted to announce that one of our members, who wrote her novel with The Ninety Day Novel course, is on the shortlist of five novels for The Bath Novel Award 2019.

There were 1341 entries to this prestigious literary award for the best novel and we are all slightly giddy at The Novelry with excitement for our friend. It is so well-deserved!

Read on...

The Seed of Success

Jul 28, 2019

Here's how to create a story:

1. Know it

An experience or circumstances of which you have direct knowledge as a participant or an outsider looking in

2. See it

Translate it - to a different time or place or different gender main character - to create arms-length distance to get a more 'divine' perspective on the matter

3. Apply Pity 

Feel for the flaw or failing of the hero taking this journey and appreciate their charisma (magic or personal charm which will prove an amulet to protect them and deliver them to a safe place to find themselves 'beloved' on this earth)

flaw + charisma

4. Own it

Take your most loved book of all time, consider why you love it. If it's a genre - a period of history, or speculative treatment sci-fi or fantasy - or a human psycho-drama or thriller - now's the time to own up to it. What is it about it? A mood? A place? A mode of discourse? A kind of human intimacy? A sense that anything is possible or that everything is impossible. Humour?...

Read on...
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