The Creative Writing Blog

Ranked #1 Worldwide*

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!


Browse the collection
How to Prepare for Writing a Novel – Katie Fforde Oct 17, 2021


From the Desk of Katie Fforde 

Right at the beginning of my writing career, when I was trying to write novels for Mills and Boon (easy to read, incredibly hard to write) someone suggested it was easier to get historicals published. There was a shortage.

I quickly worked out a plot (hugely derivative – basically the girl dresses up as a boy to follow her love to sea) and went on to read a lot of novels by Patrick O’Brian as my research (I really enjoyed them!). All I had to do was start.

I did start, but I was only halfway down the first page when I realised I didn’t know what they wrote with on ships during the Napoleonic wars and my plot hung on me knowing this. I could probably have found out but it would have taken me weeks (which makes me think that Patrick O’B, a stickler for research and expert in the most obscure and finicky bits of rigging, possibly didn’t know, otherwise, why hadn’t it ever come up in any of his many...

Click here to read on...

Get on the list!

Get the Sunday paper for writers to your inbox.