The Novelry Blog

Where the writers are.

Meet Mahsuda Snaith Jul 11, 2021


Can you remember the feelings of first love? The giddy excitement, the blissful sigh of your body as the whole world became covered in a honey-tinted glow? That’s what it felt like for me with my first love; story.

I had a solitary childhood. The only Asian family on a predominately white council estate, my mother rarely allowed anyone over or let us out to see friends. Growing up, what kept me company were stories. The ones read to me at the end of the school day, the TV shows and films I watched when I got home and the books I borrowed from libraries and devoured in my room, their words filling my mind full of vibrant worlds that felt as real as the walls around me. Stories have helped me get through the hardest of times, they have been there for me when I needed them most but, more than anything, they have shown me there is always another way. As soon I was able to, I was making up and writing my own stories so when I discovered there were people who could make...

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Imposter Syndrome, Writers? Jul 04, 2021

From the Desk of Polly Ho-Yen

The term “imposter syndrome” was first coined by Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in their landmark 1978 study of 150 highly successful professional women in various fields. Susan Pinker, author of The Sexual Paradox: Troubled Boys, Gifted Girls and the Real Difference Between the Sexes, describes Clance and Imes's findings as follows:

“Despite accolades, rank, and salary, these women felt like phonies. They didn’t believe in their own accomplishments; they felt they were scamming everyone about their skills.”

Sound familiar?  

You would not be alone; according to a review article published in the International Journal of Behavioral Science, an estimated 70% of people experience these impostor feelings at some point in their lives. Impostor syndrome is seen to affect both genders and all kinds of people from every part of life. Perhaps it’s not, in fact, a useful term and helps to mask...

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How To Introduce a Character in a Novel Jun 27, 2021

...the Artful Flaw. 

From the Desk of Katie Khan

Lately, I’ve become obsessed with how we first meet our favourite characters. Whether they’re honourable, ethical good guys, or down-and-out criminals with a wicked streak, how we’re first introduced to our hero’s flaw will define the shape of the story. Whether the novel will arc upwards as their situation improves – or downwards in a dramatic fall from grace. 

Some common character flaws include our heroes being vain, conceited or narcissistic; lustful, libidinous or predatory; proud, deluded or boastful; angry, vengeful or rash. Your character might be more on the pathetic side of flawed – miserable, helpless and isolative; slothful, apathetic, small-minded or indifferent.

Choosing and revealing your character’s flaw is, I think, one of the hardest parts of writing a novel. It’s also the most open to misinterpretation. In early drafts we often create deeply unhappy, broken...

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How to Keep Writing Your Novel. Jun 20, 2021

May You Always Be A Beginner.

  • Write with innocence, wide-eyed about the vagaries of humanity and a willingness to be surprised at how low or high humans can go.
  • Write with hope, that your tale will bring a smile to even one person, take another to a location they will never visit in real life, cause an individual to reflect on the human condition or guide someone on a thrilling adventure that happens in the safety of their minds/imagination.
  • Write with generosity, with a heart so big that you’re willing to share your dreams and crazy ideas with someone else through words.
  • Write with love, for people, life, love and everything that lies within and between.
  • Write with an open heart, willing to listen to feedback that only gets you back on the computer, not down in the pits of despair.
  • Write your truth. Always. That’s where authenticity comes from, that elusive quality called ‘voice’ but is really industry parlance for ‘to...
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Advice For Writers. Jun 13, 2021

From the Desk of Kathy Lette.

Hello All, 

As many of you writers at The Novelry will know, the best thing about being a writer is that you get to work in your PJs all day, drink heavily on the job and have affairs and call it “research”.

But I principally became an author as it involves no heavy lifting. Except for those writers who lift whole sections of other people’s work and then call it their own. But hey, you can’t have all work and no plagiarism, right?

But if you really want to be a writer, your most important assignment is to think of a witty epitaph. Spike Milligan’s was: ‘I told you I was sick.’ I think mine will be: ‘Finally – a good plot.’

I’ve been writing novels since my teens, so have been lucky enough to rub shoulder pads with many of the world’s most inspiring authors. I’ve done the limbo with Salman Rushdie, waltzed with Julian Barnes and tango-ed with Clive James. I’ve...

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