The Creative Writing Blog

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Welcome to The Novelry blog. Your first stop for all things to do with novel writing. Peruse the articles to troubleshoot your writing problems and get that novel done! Happy writing!

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Books for Writers Jan 16, 2022

From the desk of Emylia Hall.

What exactly is a book for a writer? Any work that inspires, motivates and educates can be classed as such.

As a fiction writer, I learn a great deal about writing from reading novels; beloved works of fiction have been – and continue to be – as instructive as any ‘craft’ book for me. We take that tack at The Novelry with our brilliant collection of Hero Books. But I love a book that’s specifically about the writing process, ­whether focused on practical matters, or with a more spiritual vibe.

The kind of craft books we connect with are deeply personal ­­– perhaps more so than with fiction. (Discuss.) Sometimes it’s a question of timing: the right book at the right moment, chiming with a particular problem we’re encountering in our writing, or an area where we’re feeling ripe for enlightenment. As any list of writing craft books will be hotly debated, I’ll be leaning into...

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The Moral Dilemma Jan 09, 2022

From the desk of Jack Jordan.

As human beings, morals are at the heart of who we are. On a personal level, morality is the compass that helps us navigate life, and on a broader scale, morals are the laws of the land, the intricate maze of unspoken rules we all live by. Our personal morals are so intertwined with our society that we may not even recognise the number of choices we have to make every day – nor the opportunities we have to stray.

Every minute, we choose to do the right thing. We choose to wake up to go to work. We choose to pay our taxes. We choose to sit in traffic rather than mount the pavement in a wild free-ride to get to where we need to go. We choose to do the right thing, not just because of the beliefs that have been instilled in us, but because we know of the consequences that await us if we do wrong. These morals – and the choices that accompany them –  live within all of us, whether we recognise these as right...

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Writing a Novel in 2022 Jan 02, 2022
From the desk of Louise Dean, founder of The Novelry.

The last lines of the poem Lockdown by the Poet Laureate Simon Armitage were inspired by the mythology of the village of Eyam in Derbyshire. 

the journey a ponderous one at times, long and slow by necessarily so.

They may console writers who have not made the progress hoped for in 2021, and I'm here to bring you words of cheer and a plan for the new year... Read on, dear writer.

The story goes that the plague came to the village of Eyam in 1665 when a flea-infested bundle of cloth arrived from London for the local tailor. Within a week his assistant George Viccars, noticing the bundle was damp, had opened it up. Before long he was dead and more began dying soon after. As the disease spread, the villagers turned for leadership to their Rev. William Mompesson and the Rev. Thomas Stanley. (Next slide, please, Reverend…)

The villagers agreed to accept strict quarantine to prevent the spread of the disease...

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How to Write a Children's Book Dec 26, 2021

From the desk of Polly Ho-Yen.

 

‘Twas the day after Christmas when all through the house, old memories are stirring we simply can’t douse…

Over the festive period, it’s near impossible not to think back to our childhood Christmases. Those memories are so much closer to the surface. I was plain ridiculous as a kid at Christmastime; I remember desperately wishing for snow, really feeling the wonder of it all by looking long and hard at the Christmas tree, totally giddy at the prospect of visiting the local shopping centre’s Christmas display. Our family tradition was to drive to a local deer park and see if we could spot the reindeer on Christmas Eve. If we caught a glimpse of their antlers, I felt buzzed with nothing less than pure joy. But if we didn’t spot them, my parents would tell my sister and I that the reindeer were simply getting ready for their upcoming sleigh ride; I was never able to hide my disappointment.

At...

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Stacey Halls on Being Edited Dec 19, 2021

Stacey Halls is the author of The Familiars, which was the bestselling debut novel of 2019. Her second historical fiction novel The Foundling was published in 2020, and her third Mrs England is publishing in June 2022. She studied journalism at the University of Central Lancashire and has written for publications including the Guardian, Stylist, Psychologies, The Independent, The Sun and Fabulous.

We're delighted to have an exclusive live event with Stacey on January 24th 2022. Become a member of The Novelry for access to talks with bestselling authors, online classes with industry professionals – and so much more. 

 


More or Less: Being Edited

From the desk of Stacey Halls.

Questions I get asked a lot are: what’s it like being edited, and do you have to do everything your agent or editor suggests?

I find this interesting for a few reasons. Firstly, because the question always seems to come from a...

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Diana Evans on Instincts in Writing Dec 12, 2021

Diana Evans is the award-winning, bestselling author of Ordinary PeopleThe Wonder and 26a. Her prize nominations include the Guardian and Commonwealth Best First Book awards, and she was the inaugural winner of the Orange Award for New Writers. A book of the year in the New YorkerOrdinary People received the South Bank Sky Arts Award, and was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Rathbones Folio Prize and the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction.

We're delighted to have an exclusive live event with Diana on January 3rd 2022. Become a member of The Novelry for access to talks with bestselling authors, online classes with industry professionals – and so much more. 

 


From the desk of Diana Evans.

One of my favourite Tracy Chapman songs is ‘All That You Have Is Your Soul’, from the Crossroads album. It’s about a person realising the essentialness of self-connection,...

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How To Write a Synopsis Dec 05, 2021

New Year, New Novel? Sign up now to start writing in January 2022.

If your New Year's resolution is to finally write your novel, it's time to enrol in one of our famous online writing courses with personal author coaching. Prepare to get cracking by packing some advanced storytelling skills so that you can start writing on a new page in January. Explore the website to choose the course and payment plan that works for you, or book a free call to meet one of our award-winning author tutors.

 


 
From the desk of Lily Lindon, editor at The Novelry and author of Double Booked (June 2022).

If you want an agent to represent your novel, you're going to have to write a damned good synopsis.

That's right – it's not enough to spend months of your life crafting tens of thousands of words of brilliant, original storytelling. You've got to be able to summarise it too.

Most agencies ask...

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Why It's Better To Write Together Nov 28, 2021

Mahsuda Snaith is one of the team of expert author coaches at The Novelry. She was named an 'Observer New Face of Fiction' for her debut novel The Things We Thought We Knew (published by Penguin's Black Swan imprint), and her second novel How to Find Home was chosen as a BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime. 

Write your book with an author like Mahsuda at your side – we'll be there to help you every step of the way! 

 


From the desk of Mahsuda Snaith.

 

Writing can sometimes feel like a country park full of bracken.

Let me explain.

A few years back, I was walking with a friend through a local country park. We came to a spot where the ground was covered with bracken, with thin trails weaving through the overgrowth. As we walked through, my friend told me how she knew someone who had come to the same park and lost sight of her dog in amongst the thickets. Her dog just so happened to be called Bracken. There...

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Rachel Joyce on Overcoming Doubt Nov 21, 2021

Rachel Joyce is the Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author of six books, including The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy and Miss Benson’s Beetle.

We're delighted to have an exclusive live event with Rachel on 20th December. Become a member of The Novelry for access to talks with bestselling authors, online classes with industry professionals – and so much more.

 

From the desk of Rachel Joyce.

 

If you are reading this, you are a writer. I say that not because I am flattering you but because you clearly care deeply enough to want to find a way of finishing what you are working on. So I am going to be really frank with you – one writer to another.

My feelings about our craft change all the time but there is one thing I know for certain: it is necessary. Even when I was a child, I wanted to write – and not just for myself, I wanted to write stories that other...

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