The Novelry Blog
Where the writers are.
Bestselling Fantasy Author Tricia Levenseller explains:
- Start with a hero or heroine (make them a fierce badass i.e. a girl monster slayer)
- Pick your sub-genre (i.e. high fantasy, urban fantasy, dystopian, sword and sorcery, dark fantasy...)
- Forget about what the market wants and write for you
- Have your cake and eat it; combine the things you love your way
- Build a world that works for your combo
- Drive the plot according to your main character's overt and covert wants and needs
- Add the familiar fantasy element or trope - literally pick a preference: (i.e the chosen one, the dark lord, talking animals, the mentor, medieval magic (unicorns, elves etc.)
- Divide the quest, story or quite literally the map of the world into parts
When I decided to try writing a book for the first time, I’d been given this horrible piece of advice: write what you know. I was seventeen years old. I didn’t know what I was doing, only that I had a love of books and reading. For a...
- Life is complex and I am always trying to make sense of it.
- I like to entertain, be useful and have a role.
- I think I like being the centre of attention.
- I also hate being the centre of attention.
- I’m not great at acknowledging pain in real life but I find I’m excellent at acknowledging it on the page.
- Writers are interesting.
- Reading is empowering.
- I have a hunger to be known and understood.
- I have a desire to make connections and feel less alone.
- I cannot not.
I’ve found writing is best if:
- I don’t think about my mother reading what I have written.
- I don’t think about prizes, chart positions or reviews.
- I do think about being honest.
- I redraft and edit as I go along.
- I am disciplined and write regularly, by which I mean every day.
- I risk being unpopular, so I don’t chase a tide of popularity in terms of genre.
- I don’t copy other authors’ styles.
- I challenge myself.
- I doubt myself.
- I believe in myself.
I’ve managed to write...
From the Desk of Mike Gayle.
It used to be the case that whenever anyone asked me about the research I’d undertaken during the course of writing one of my novels I’d say something debonair like, ‘My life is my research!’ I’d raise an eyebrow as if to make it clear what an incredibly interesting person I was, constantly having adventures and living life to the full. The truth of the matter however is that I’m actually quite boring really, and even worse I prefer it that way. I like my drama to exist only inside the pages of the books I write. Real-life drama isn’t really my thing, at least if I can help it.
I’m telling you this as a preamble to what I’m going to say next which in short is this: All The Lonely People took a lot of research. When I first came up with the idea for this story one of the things I knew I wanted to explore was a long life lived from beginning to end. In the past I’ve tended to write stories about...
From the Desk of Harriet Tyce.
Whenever I do an event, I wonder if this will be the time I’m asked how I get my ideas. It hasn’t happened yet – maybe it’s perfectly obvious how I get my ideas. I was a criminal barrister, I’ve written two books with criminal barristers at their heart. But I’ve still had to come up with different stories for them, different settings. And even if I know one part of the world, the rest is still a mystery.
Every time I’m confronted with the blank page at the start of a new project, I panic, not sure where I’m going to find inspiration. Every time I approach the end of a draft, I panic again, wondering if I’ll ever be able to think of a new idea.
The thing is, I always do. Inspiration’s to be found everywhere. The books I read, the television shows I watch, the conversations I overhear. The true crime stories I read in the Daily Mail online (they give a lot of detail which isn’t...
From the Desk of Emylia Hall.
This is not my first draft rodeo... (not that you’d know it).
‘The first draft of anything is shit,’ said Ernest Hemingway. I’ve always liked this line because it’s a great equalizer: we’re all capable of writing terrible first drafts. And it’s freeing too: it’s about getting the words down, generating material, discovering the story … no pressure to be anything more than that.
Nevertheless, whenever I turn in a first draft, I still always think … but what if, this time, it’s not? What if it is, in fact, nearly there? Just needing a nip, a tuck … and we’re good to go? And although all my experience tells me this will not be the case – that this is almost never ever the case for anyone – I find myself absurdly hoping anyway. Because, typically, I’ve finished that draft on a real high, a crescendo of energy and inspiration – and every ounce of...
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