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How to write a novel

(29 Posts)
CariGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 09-May-13 07:56:17

In her guest post for us, bestselling novelist Rosie Goodwin shares some tips of the trade.

We have ten copies of her latest novel - Home Front Girls - to give away to people who post on this thread.

sunseeker Thu 09-May-13 09:45:21

It has been said that everyone has a book in them - I have always admired people who can put their thoughts into words in a way which is informative/entertaining for the reader. I wish I had that talent.

Mishap Thu 09-May-13 10:15:43

I have just read a brief book by Mark Haddon on my kindle - bit boring really, but he did share an idea that he uses on writing courses: cover a big sheet of paper in various unrelated scenarios (e.g. woman swimming in river, child playing basketball, ambulance speeding down motorway - anything really) then sit down and draw lines between them to form a narrative.

whenim64 Thu 09-May-13 10:29:26

I attended a great writing workshop run by a writer for Coronation Street, a short story writer, and a few people who had books published with some success. They encouraged us to write very short stories in the workshop, share and get feedback, and then said 'go away and do this for increasing lengths of time to hone your skills. Don't throw anything away, as you might want to re-write it as you improve, and if you keep at it, you'll find you can plot and characterise your stories so they are interesting to others.' Unfortunately, they didn't tell us how to get motivation back when it disappeared!

gillybob Thu 09-May-13 10:36:03

Hi Rosie, I would love to be-able to put things into words as I have so much to say. I probably should have been Gillygob !

I have quite a few stores in me (some true, some not) but wouldn't have the foggiest clue how to even start to put them into words. Any ideas as to how and where to start would be fantastic.

PRINTMISS Thu 09-May-13 15:30:31

I can write about facts quite easily, I love writing letters, and people say they enjoy reading them; when I used to do regular newsletter to keep folk in touch, the receipients would say they could hear me talking (not non-stop I hope!) but I would have no idea about how to write a STORY. I don't think I have any imagination that's the trouble.

numberplease Thu 09-May-13 15:59:10

I`ve had a book inside me for well over 30 years, did start to write it all down, but family pressures and looking after kids put it onto the back burner. Maybe one day..............?

gillybob Thu 09-May-13 17:26:02

As well as the "stores" I also have quite a few stories in me ! grin

juneh Thu 09-May-13 17:51:14

I have written 3 self published books, 2 novels and 1 self help, but sadly to no avail. I am in midflow through another but have dried up as per usual with other things stepping in the way of direction with my story, now half written and my main character left in limbo.
In this latest book I started off full of hope and anticipation but then began to doubt the way my main character should go. Of course it was me doubting but she seemed to be depressed and uncertain about her life ... so I gave up on her. Sad I know but she waits now in anticipation of when I will bring her back to life. Maybe when I have finished setting up Gransnet local for Conwy?

constance Fri 10-May-13 15:04:03

A friend and I started swopping stories after we had both been off work for a while and recuperating with the aid of lots of wonderfully trashy and not-so-trashy novels. So we decided to write our own - her daughter pointed us at the Nanowrimo website (where you write a novel in a month) and we went for it. A few years on and we are both back at work and have both finally finished at least one novel and are waiting to get feedback from publishers. Even if it doesn't go anywhere we have had great fun and even used it as an excuse to go away for weekends with two other friends who write.
We hire a place somewhere nice and take food, wine and laptops, then write all day and share extracts - often reading each others out loud. These days the author is less likely to sit with a cushion in front of their face, squealing with embarrassment.
Trouble is, once you start making up stories you can't stop. I've got another 50,000 words waiting on my laptop for me to ignore the family and get cracking on finishing.

lota1 Fri 10-May-13 15:23:39

i love reading books and really admire people who can storytell but i dont think thats me - however my daughter seems to have a talent for it so would love to pass some tips on to her

wallers5 Fri 10-May-13 15:33:39

I have been writing articles but always wanted to write a book and would love help & information in this modern world. Unless you are famous it seems no Agent wants to know. Help please.

cazthebookworm Fri 10-May-13 16:15:39

I belong to a local writing group where we have great fun producing varies stories and poems, and talking to and learning from one another. I doubt I will ever be a published author in the strictest sense of the word, but we do produce an anthology every few months and I am quite proud and pleased for my efforts to be included in it. The important thing is to enjoy what you are doing and to be encouraging and supportive to others.

mazgoli Fri 10-May-13 16:58:52

They say that everyone has a book in them and I would really like to write but don't know where to start.

BrenML Fri 10-May-13 17:03:41

I've written and self published a psychological thriller and am in the middle of writing book two. It is really hard work at the moment as I'm trying to do all the marketing, publicity etc., for the first book. I tried lots of agents before going down this route and I do think they want writers with 'legs' ones who is going to write for the next fifty years so they can make their money - not us oldies. That is unless you are a celebrity of course.

storynanny Fri 10-May-13 17:34:15

I would love to have the skill, time etc to write a novel and have it published. I have the characters, plot, setting etc in my head and have done some research, it's based on one of my friends amazingly interesting life story. Although I have always been an avid reader all my life and have read a wide range of genres, I don't really know how to go about actually writing a story!

PPP Fri 10-May-13 18:29:20

My son, a computer scientist and avid reader all his life, did Nanowrimo last year and has written a fabulous, compelling thriller. Nanowrimo makes you write fast and furiously. If you have a story in you, it is the way to get it out. I, sadly, did Nanowrimo a couple of years ago and by the end of the month was sick to death with my own 'voice' and have not re- read the drivel I wrote, but all you grans out there will have much better stories to tell. Go for it!

fluffy Fri 10-May-13 19:23:31

I met a script writer years ago and he said every story / film/ play/ comedy/ drama everything follows the same formula - the three 's's' - situation , something happens , sort it out. All stories do this.

Faye Fri 10-May-13 23:17:50

Lulu is a site where you can self publish for a reasonable fee, plus you can also buy some great books. Here is the link

angwan Sat 11-May-13 09:04:01

I have always wanted to write a book but iv never had the confidence to do it. I suppose everybody thinks that at first. But how and where to start. Not so easy i dont think but id like to learn, im sure i have a tale or two to tell. xx

BarbaraAbbs Sun 12-May-13 12:35:53

I have a couple of novels, one 'out there' and one here on the computer. I did also try scriptwriting with a friend for a year or two. We worked quite hard but it is even more difficult than getting a book published. Absolutely no one wants to know. However, we had such fun doing it and laughed a lot, so I never felt it was a waste of time.

Quite therapeutic too as a lot of the characters were based on rather irritating people and we gave them their comeuppance.

inishowen Sun 12-May-13 15:01:20

I intend writing the history of our family. It will be for future generations to read. I wish my granny had told me more about her life, or maybe it's my fault for not showing an interest.

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 21-May-13 15:11:29

Hello all

The 10 names drawn out of the hat on this occasion were:


Well done. An email on its way to you now

audrey10 Tue 28-May-13 09:02:57

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audrey10 Tue 28-May-13 09:02:58

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