New Year, New Plan

I’m not really into New Year’s resolutions (‘must eat less chocolate’, yawn), but planning your writing for the year is a brilliant thing.

No, wait, come back! I don’t mean the kind of plan that makes you feel bad every time you look at it. I mean the kind that inspires and supports you, that helps you to write a little more and feel better about it. Still not convinced? Here are some reasons to love planning:

1) Planning makes everything feel more manageable

Writing projects can feel overwhelming, leaving you feeling MEH and avoiding writing. A good yearly plan takes all that away by breaking those huge jobs into small, realistic bite-sized pieces. And as a bonus, you then get the satisfaction of being able to see yourself cross those little steps off and feel like you’re making progress.

2) It gives you permission to ignore housework!

Making time for writing is hard for most of us. Life is busy, so it always feels like there’s other stuff you should be doing instead. Sometimes tasks need doing (technically, you do need to feed the kids), but there are lots that push in front of writing just because they feel more urgent.

Urgent and important are not the same though. Writing needs dedicated time and concentration. That doesn’t happen by itself! Planning your writing and breaking it into steps does two things. You are declaring writing is important to you, which in turn helps you to keep focus. This, hopefully, leads to a situation where you are spending more of your precious time writing and less hoovering. Honestly, nobody cares if you hoover a little less.

3) It shows you what needs to change

It’s frustrating when things aren’t happening and you feel stuck. But it’s the things that you do and the action that you take that determines what you create. Basically, you can’t write that screenplay or novel if you’re not… you know… writing…!

Making a good plan can help you work out what steps you’re missing at the moment. It can also show you what routines would work better for you than your current ones. Even small improvements to your writing life can make a huge difference in the long-term. So get planning!

4) It helps you achieve your dream

Everybody has dreams. Creatives are full of them. But while dreaming of going on a journey is great, if you never do anything about it? You’ll still be sitting in the same chair in twenty years wishing you’d gone. A plan connects the dots between your current situation and that far-off dream. It’s the map you need to start on the journey and stay on the right track.

Sure, things might change as you go along, but that plan is the thing you can always come back to. Use it to reassess your situation and work out how to get back to where you want to be.

5) Planning feels goooooooood!

The best plans are the ones that that give you clarity and get you inspired so that you can’t wait to get started. Use that creative energy as a catapult to give your writing a boost, and remember why you love writing.

BIO: Charlie Haynes runs Urban Writers’ Retreat, and is a not-so-secret planning nerd. The 2019 Writer’s Diary and Planner is designed with writers in mind. It helps you figure out what you really want to write next year and break it down into manageable bites. It also helps you work out what works for you, and helps you make writing a priority all year. Check it out!

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Writing And Diversity

LGBT people are part of our diverse world. So, as writers, we must try really hard to avoid stereotypes while writing diverse characters. Happily, it’s the need of the hour in the industry – so if we write better diverse characters, then we have more chance of getting published or produced! Here are the top 3 tips for writing LGBT characters, enjoy!

1) Decide AND Understand Your Characters’ Sexuality

Consider aspects like, have they come out of the closet and how and to whom? This will help you understand how they accept their sexuality and how well adjusted they are to their present. You will gradually be able to set realistic boundaries for your character and be able to stick to them.

Also, not everyone falls into a certain category that’s defined. Some characters can fall into gray areas. It’s best to understand the basics by reading and talking to people who understand it. You can then work on the sexuality and the romantic status of your character. Understand what gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual and asexual (and so on) actually means.

TOP TIP: You don’t have to worry about making your LGBT character ‘normal’, but you do have to do your research! MORE: How To Write Better LGBT Characters

2) Don’t Write Them As An ‘LGBT token’

You don’t necessarily have to have a bitchy gay character … In fact, please don’t! No stereotypes or overly familiar characters, please.

Also, don’t make the stories just about the LGBT character’s identity. Remember, like any straight character, one’s orientation or identity is a part of their life and NOT the entirety. Don’t make your character’s sole purpose to LGBT … Make it just a facet that flows subtly.

For example, a real-life lesbian wouldn’t necessarily be masculine in nature. She doesn’t necessarily have to goth-looking either! Focus on something that brings out their personality and does not just talk about their sexuality. Talk about how good a friend or a daughter she is. Or how she performs at work etc.

You don’t necessarily have to have coming out stories or transition stories, either. Those stories are overly represented. Imagine the real thing, in the real world. Not every LGBT individual needs to come out! He/she can still rock at their life.

TOP TIP: Make your LGBT character a person FIRST. Their sexuality is not anyone’s concern but theirs … Unless they want it to be. MORE: How To Avoid Writing Stereotypes

3) Be Diverse!

This might seem like the most obvious advice for writing an LGBT character but is extremely important. Writers like to create curiosity among readers. For example, a character who is devoted stay at mom is also a spy, like in Long Kiss Goodnight. Why not? But we need to do the same with our LGBT characters too!

So your character doesn’t necessarily have to be white, or flamboyant. A gay dude could very easily be a nerd with a 9-5 job. A trans individual doesn’t necessarily have to be flamboyant; he could be a senator. Remember, the audience is already too used to stereotypes. In reality, not every gay man lives in a big mansion and appreciates being a girl’s bitchy BFF. They can have an equally boring job as yours or mine.

TOP TIP: Diversity just means ‘variety’ – so write more of a VARIETY of LGBT characters! MORE: How I Wrote The Other Twin, Set In Diverse Brighton 

Last Words

Be real and give your audience something they connect to, yet do not expect from you. This is as real as it can get, for all our characters.

BIO: Bronte Price is a wedding celebrant at Gay Celebrant Melbourne.. He stands strongly for marriage equality and takes immense pleasure in marrying any couples in love. He has also co-founded The Equality Network to help wedding suppliers create a better wedding experience for LGBTI couples. He is a regular volunteer newsreader at Joy 94.9, and a member of GLOBE (Gay and Lesbian Organization for Business and Enterprise). Beyond this, you will find him either in his organic backyard vegetable garden or taking walks with his fiancée Clint and their four-legged fur baby, Bingo.

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All About Agents

Agents are always in every writer’s sights. With a new year beckoning, NOW is a great time to think about your submissions strategy. But whether you’re a novelist or a screenwriter, do make sure you avoid these epic clangers!

1) Not Following The Submissions Guidelines

First up, the obvious one. I know I always bang on (!) about following submission guidelines, but this is because writers STILL don’t do this!

NEWSFLASH: all legitimate agents will have their submission guidelines listed on their websites. Before you submit ANYTHING, look at their websites and find out what they are. (You should be doing your due diligence, as per point 2 on this list anyway).

By the way, because 2019 is around the corner, it should be noted most submissions are done ONLINE now. Many agents have fancy submissions portals. Familiarise yourself with these portals ahead of the game. This way you don’t make epic mistakes and end up having to phone the agency in a panic!

Oh and while you’re doing all this, don’t forget to name your files properly.

2) Not Sending The RIGHT Stuff …

You want to send a script, a one page pitch/synopsis, a good cover email. THAT IS GENERALLY IT.

Like point 1 on this list, only ever include other stuff if it is expressly asked for in the submission guidelines. I cannot stress this enough. Do not send Spotify playlists or CDs. DO NOT send tea bags, sweets, or a plastic trash can.

3) … To The RIGHT People

Also, agents don’t just want any old client or script. They want a client they can invest their time in to help develop their career. See the difference?

So, agents will want clients who write the kinds of stories, themes, genres, subject matter, styles etc, they feel passionate about, too. That’s why it’s pointless sending your great comedic writing to agents who specialise in Horror. Or your brilliant crime fiction novel to agents who prefer non-fiction and memoir.

Sound obvious? That’s because it IS. But writers send their brilliant writing to the WRONG agents all the time … Then wonder why they fail to get any kind of traction. The good news is, it’s easier than EVER to find who the ‘right people’ are for your style of writing and/or career ambitions.

So, get on social media and search out those agents who tweet about the books, TV shows and movies they like. Make sure you go to agent panels at events like London Screenwriters Festival or London Book Fair. Grab a copy of the Writers & Artistes Yearbook and check out sites like Lit Rejections. Do your research!

4) Being Obnoxious

‘Being obnoxious’ can be up to interpretation, it’s true. However Agents all have horror stories about obnoxious potential clients. One of the most oft-hit articles on this site is the late, great Carole Blake’s from Blake Friedmann, where she details 29 Ways Not To Submit To An Agent. Don’t do any of those things and you should be fine.

Don’t mistake ‘being obnoxious’ with following up. Following up on your submission is absolutely allowed. But you probably do want to wait to between 6-8 weeks MINIMUM. Don’t follow up too fast, because that is obnoxious!

5) Believing Rejection = No More Contact, EVER!

Often writers get rejected by agents, then think they can NEVER darken those doors again. This is absolutely, 100% incorrect. In a business that is all about relationships, getting a read counts. If an agent responds to you with some feedback, however brief, chalk that up as a WIN. The agent was interested in your project *more* than the average one in the pile.

So respond, thank them and ask if you may send another script. They may say no, but in which case you have not lost anything. But if they say yes? You still have everything to play for. MORE: Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Rejection

Good Luck!

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Successful Writers

Sometimes, we meet/discover a writer who is super successful.  We think they must have been super lucky, too. Right place, right time and all that. If only we were so lucky!

But what if I told you they’re super successful BECAUSE they failed … A LOT. Seems like an oxymoron, right? Except it isn’t. Many amazing writers are ‘successful failures’.

The above quote is from J K Rowling’s Harvard Commencement Speech, The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination. Being as successful as she is, it’s hard to think of her as a writer who failed. But she did and so have countless other success stories.

Failure Is Not Fatal

Maya Angelou is another amazing writer. She came up against huge obstacles in her life, yet she saw the value of failure. Every time life smacked her down, this courageous woman got right back up. Does failing the most equate with learning the most? Maybe.

I think the key to getting past failure is this … None of us know how long the thorny path is. It could take two years, five years or ten years to become successful. Even then, the thorns are still there … Except now they’re entwined with ‘success flowers’ and the path is a nicer walk!

The Value Of Mentors, Allies & Moral Support

You don’t HAVE to have a mentor, but there’s a reason they play such a big part in The Hero’s Journey. Mentors can be helpers and facilitators in writers’ journeys. Speaking from experience, I can say it definitely helps when dealing with the thorny path. A mentor can guide you and reassure you as you go through your journey:

Creative: The path of thorns leads up a mountain. The prickles are bad enough. I don’t want to fall and hurt myself.

Mentor: You’re not going to see the beautiful view from the ground.

Creative: Okay, I’ll climb a little way … A stone hit me on the head!

Mentor: It’s just a stone.

Creative: Okay, I’ll climb a little more. Hey, a flower! Pretty. I’ll climb some more … ten stones hit me on the head! That’s it! I’m done. Everyone else is lucky. Look how far they’ve climbed. They’re not getting pelted with stones.

Mentor: You can’t see their injuries from down here. I guarantee most of the people up there have not only had stones hit them on the head but have also been smacked in the face with rocks, boulders have almost flattened them, while a flock of angry seagulls pecked at their faces! You have to take what’s thrown at you, all of it, in order to walk the path of success.

So much of the creative life is about being brave and confident. The value of mentors is they can  help you achieve this and facilitate your career. They can also console you when you have failed. Most importantly, they can remnind you to get back off your arse and try again!

But you don’t have a mentor? That’s okay. Surround yourself with allies … Writer friends who really ‘get it’. Moral support is so important. Why not join the B2W Facebook group today!

So … how do we succeed?

Yep! By failing. This means you must not fear failure. Embrace it. Small fails. Big fails. Fail at as much as you can because each opportunity needs to be taken. If you don’t take it, there is neither failure or success.

So, keep failing Bang2writers. Before long, like a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. Failure has no choice but to become success. Here’s some more links on what it takes:

33 Industry Insiders on Success, Dreams & Failure

Failure Is not Fatal. How To Succeed, No Matter What

The Truth About Success: 30 Creatives Who Broke In Late

24 Experts On The Foundation Of Success

6 Ways YOU’RE Stopping Your Own Writing Success

Good Luck!

BIO: Emma Pullar is a writer of dark fiction and children’s books. She also dabbles in screenwriting and has won/been shortlisted for several short story/script competitions. Follow Emma as @Emma_Storyteller as she lurks in the shadows, spying on people in the name of inspiration and creativity.

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Ghostly Goings On

Ever been ghosted as a writer? If so, you know how it goes: you make contact with an agent, producer or publisher and submit some work to them. Then you wait … Then chase them … Wait … Then chase them again.

And so it goes on. You begin to despair and question yourself. Sound familiar?

You’ve been ghosted!

It hurts. We get it. Now here’s how to get over it and get back on track with your writing…

1) Check – have you *really* been ghosted?

Producers and agents are busy, and it can take time to get back to people. If you’re approaching a large company, you may have to wait a number of weeks, or even months. Smaller companies may take less time to get back to you.

If you’ve waited more than two or three months to hear back from someone, then it’s pretty safe to assume that you’re not going to. MORE: When To Follow Up On Your Submission

2) Knock three times – then move on

It’s your right to chase up producers and agents if you’ve not heard back – but always remember to be polite and don’t hassle them. Not sure how many times, or which ways to chase? Everyone is different, but a good rule of thumb is a couple of emails and a call (over a few months), then leave it. If you haven’t heard back by then, you’re probably not going to.

3) Move on – straight away

Don’t let your ghosting haunt you. The minute you get the sense you may have been ignored, you should move on by putting another query out there straight away. It’s a good idea to have a list of people you’re approaching with your work, with a ‘notes’ column. Make a note of the ghoster so you’ll remember them for next time. Is there someone else you can contact at their firm next time around?

4) Don’t drive yourself mad

You can spend hours agonising over why the person has ghosted you, but the truth is you’ll probably never know. Don’t worked up or angry either – it won’t do you any good, and only slows you down more and distracts you from your goals. Instead, start working on another project or see point 2 above.

5) Check your approach

An occasional ghosting happens to many of us, but if you’re consistently being spooked by silent rejection, it might be worth checking your approach to see if you’re doing anything wrong. There’s a handy list of how to turn your queries into dazzling gems here.

6) Don’t hit back

They have chosen not to contact you for whatever reason – and you’ll probably never know why. It’s a crappy thing to do, but you’ve no recourse to hit back at them. There’s still a chance – however slim – that there’s a genuine reason they’ve not replied. If you send them an angry note or talk badly about them on social media, you’re killing your future chances.

7) Remember what it feels like

You’ll probably get ghosted again. When you do, you’ll know that like rejection, the pain DOES go away. In years to come you may find yourself in the position where you can ghost someone. Don’t. Just remember what it feels like now.

Be polite, professional and friendly – always. If someone has ghosted you it’s very likely they’ve done the same to others. It may come back to bite them eventually, but this revenge isn’t your dish to serve.

Last words

We increasingly live in a swipe-left world, where unfortunately it can be easier for people to ignore you than just say ‘no’.

You can’t change how someone deals with you, but can change how you react to them. Getting ghosted isn’t nice, but it won’t kill you or your career. Move on. MORE: When Is A Rejection A Rejection, If I Don’t Hear Anything? 

Good luck!

BIO: TR Guest writes screenplays, plays and prose. He currently has an optioned screenplay in pre-production, a short film in development and is halfway through a novel, adapted from one of his screenplays.

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Blocked City

Welcome to Blocked City. Population: you. And the rest of us writers. This place is very busy!!!

You may have heard that ‘there’s no such thing’ as Writer’s Block. I beg to differ.  I hear from Bang2writers all the time about how they feel blocked … And if that is how they feel, then it’s real to them! I have also felt the anxiety and pressure of deadlines, which in turn has made me feel less creative. It can be a vicious circle.

This is why I like the infographic below, which puts the whole problem under the microscope and considers WHY writers feel blocked. This got me thinking about my top tips for getting out of Blocked City, which I managed to narrow down to 3 main tips below. There’s also a bunch of linkage to help you blast through as well. Good luck!

B2W’s Top 3 Strategies For Getting Unblocked

3) Outline or plan

Most writers get blocked because they are attempting to write with only a portion of the story in their head. This means as soon as they come across an issue, they get stuck in what I call ‘The Story Swamp’. An outline is like a map, helping you get out again. It doesn’t have to be mega-detailed! Your story map could be index cards or post-its, or just  bullet points. It could even be a drawing. Just as long as you have that ‘story map’, you are far less likely to get stuck.

2) Stop and reflect

Writers often don’t have enough time to write … So when they finally get to sit down in front of their computer, they ‘can’t’ write. This is due to putting so much pressure on themselves. The worst thing you can do is sit there in front of ther screen, freaking out. Turn off the computer, go for a walk, reflect on WHY you feel so anxious, down, or not confident about writing. Think about the interventions you can put in place to stop this happening. Instead of writing only at specific times, perhaps keeping a notebook handy and writing in five-minute bursts longhand would help (or vice versa!). Perhaps explaining to your partner and getting them on board with your dream would help. Whatever it is stopping you, deep down, work out what it is and what you can do about it. There’s always something.

3) Believe!!

If you don’t believe you can do this, no one will. When you feel blocked, tell yourself – YOU GOT THIS. Then what do you know … It will come true! GOGOGO.

More On This:

25 Proven Strategies To Beat Writer’s Block 

19 Tips On Overcoming Writer’s Block From Famous Authors

Top 7 Brain Boosters To Increase Focus For Better Writing

Top 5 Ways To Crush Self Doubt Like A Boss 

How Free Writing Can Get You Started

9 Beverages That Improve Your Brain Power Right Now 

How To Deal With Writer’s Block – Top 6 DON’Ts

How To Boost Your Writing Confidence To New Levels

Good Luck!

Breaking Down Writer’s Block

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All About Productivity

Productivity is a key concern of Bang2writers. It’s not difficult to see why: procrastination is a huge problem for writers. It’s easy to get stuck in a non-productive rut. We are daydreamers after all!

So, if you’re a hobby writer wanting to turn pro, or a pro wanting to get more done, you need to learn how to boost your productivity. Luckily, we at B2W Headquarters have put together this handy round-up to help you make the most of your writing time.

1) 11 Habits That Can Transform Your Productivity

Create good habits. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?? Yet it’s something many creatives struggle with. Working for yourself, sometimes with little to zero pay, can damage productivity and good habits. HERE are some tips to help stay on track.

2) The Weird and Wonderful Habits of 20 Famous Writers

Want to know which famous writer you are most like when it comes to crazy writing habits? Maybe you want to adopt the habits of a writer you admire to help increase productivity? CLICK HERE.

3) 6 Tips for Boosting Writing Productivity

HERE are some more ideas for improving productivity. The key? Work smarter not harder!

4) 1 Simple Tip to Help You Get More Writing Done

What is ‘dead time’? How can you use it to get more writing done? Don’t let time control you, control time. You might not have a Tardis or a Time-Turner but you do have control over a lot more of your time than you think. Find out HERE.

5) 5 Steps to Beat Procrastination and Stay Focused

Here are some great procrastination busters. No one EVER said ‘I wish I had procrastinated more’! HERE are the steps you need to make sure you won’t regret *not* making the time to create that wonderful work bubbling inside you.

6) How to Get Writing Done, According To 20 Famous Authors

The best way to get stuff done? Learn from the masters – and mistresses! – in the know. Check out these tips, HERE.

7) How to Stop Wasting Writing Time Procrastinating Online

 Did you watch last night’s episode? Yeah, there was a huge argument in an online writing group about that show, did you see it? Blah, blah, CONCENTRATE! To learn how to avoid getting distracted during times allocated for writing, CLICK HERE.

8) How to Improve Your Focus as A Writer

With so many distractions it can be difficult to focus. HERE are some great tips for keeping your eyes on the prize.

9) 12 Unusual and Achievable Productivity Hacks for Writers

Turn an old tennis ball into a car key holder, use your cat as a winter hat. We all love a fun life hack. HERE are some cool productivity hacks to try out today.

10) How To Set Meaningful Goals And Stick To Them

Productivity isn’t about just throwing spaghetti at the wall. Creating meaningful goals means you’re much more likely to stick to them! Find out why, HERE.

Last Words

I hope you enjoyed this round-up on productivity. No more excuses. Get that wonderful work finished and out in the world for others to enjoy. Laser focus!

BIO: Emma Pullar is a writer of dark fiction and children’s books. She also dabbles in screenwriting and has won/been shortlisted for several short story/script competitions. Follow Emma as @Emma_Storyteller as she lurks in the shadows, spying on people in the name of inspiration and creativity.

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Be Unstoppable

I am an unstoppable writer. People ask me all the time if I can bend time, or have some kind of special secret. As I always write on this blog, the answer is NO. Not on your nelly.

Unstoppable writers are not some kind of higher beings. Here is how I get stuff done:

  • I decide to do something.
  • I will stop at nothing until I get it done.

But okay, you want more details. Fine. Here’s two things that really help you become unstoppable:

1) Laser Focus

I’ve written before about the importance of setting and evaluating meaningful goals. What I haven’t written about is how crucial LASER FOCUS is to achieving those goals.

But what is ‘laser focus’? Well, if ‘focus’ is defined as a ‘centre of interest or activity’, then applying a ‘laser’ to that ups the ante. Lasers burn, so I like to think of ‘laser focus’ as being a BURNING INTEREST.

So first, identify your goal, ie. get better at plotting within the next six months. Then think:

  • Motivation. Think about WHY you are doing this – in advance. If someone has recommended you work on your plotting, identify those areas of plotting you feel most uncomfortable with. Is it the beginning? The end? The middle? What is it you don’t understand, or find hard? Try and articulate it, so you can come back to it later.
  • Lists and Plans. It’s very easy to try and work on something like craft, but end up with nothing to show for it. Which books and blogs are you going to read about plotting? Which worksheets will you download? What novels and movies are you watch that have great plotting? How about the ones with bad plotting, then comparing them? What about interviewing professional writers for their thoughts on what makes good plotting? Make a list/plan.

Top Tip:

Laser Focus is deciding on a goal, then throwing everything at it. Be methodical. Make a calendar, plan and/or To Do list to refer to as you go. You’re MUCH more likely to achieve what you set out to. MORE: How To Set Meaning Goals & Stick To Them

2) Bitesize Chunks

I hear writers saying ‘I don’t have time’ constantly. But unstoppable writers don’t have the MOST time, they MAKE THE MOST of their available time. Crucial difference.

But look, I get it. If we have day jobs, health challenges, families or other commitments, then ‘finding the time’ to write can seem an impossible challenge. We need to change our mindsets. It’s NOT about finding time, or even about making it.

Instead, it’s about BELIEVING we have the time … Because we do! Time stops for no wo/man, so use it to your advantage. Don’t let it run away from you:

  • Spend too much on social media? Install an app to block it after a certain amount of time.
  • Break your tasks down into ‘bitesize chunks’.
  • Take a pen and paper everywhere you go.
  • Got even just five minutes? USE IT.
  • Make notes. Write sentences. Plan. Spidergrams. Whatever works for you!

So, think about your goal again … and break it down into bitesize chunks.

If you have decided you want to get better at plotting ‘within six months’, how many weeks is that? Days? Hours? How much of that time are you going to give to this task? What is the ideal? What about things you can’t plan for advance (ie. sick kids, sick spouses, sick you). Be realistic.

Top Tip:

Set a target number of hours for each week for working on your goal. Maybe you can only manage 1 hour a week, set into twelve 5 minute increments? That is fine! Whatever it takes, remember!!! MORE: 7 Ways To Find More Time To Write

Good Luck!

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Novel Ideas

Writing a novel is a challenging endeavour, no one can deny that. It takes serious work, patience, and commitment to start and finish. Most of all, it takes courage to get our words out there in the world! Here’s 5 top realisations you need to help you write yours …

1) Starting With The Ending Is A Good Idea 

This may surprise you, but many successful authors start from the end! When you start writing a novel,  it’s best to know where it’s going. The ending needs to connect all loose ends into a perfectly logical (although unexpected) wrap-up.

Let’s take a pretty popular novel, The Brothers Karamazov, as an example. Can you imagine Dostoevsky writing without knowing the ending beforehand? The ending (no spoiler alerts!) is so surprising, yet so very logical. The Set Up and Pay Off is so clear, it’s hard to believe Dostoevsky began without knowing the ending. Apparently, he even drew elaborate doodles in his manuscripts, so he could “see” the characters and scenes before writing about them.

You don’t necessarily need a detailed outline for your novel. However, you need to know where it’s going … Otherwise you risk making boring digressions (at best!).

TOP TIP: Write your concept and figure out what the ending will be like. Then, you can start writing the book. MORE: How To Avoid Plotting Hell And Save Writing Hours 

2) It’s Okay To Walk Away (Within Reason)

Writer’s Block is a huge obstacle that causes many books to stay unwritten. Imagine you’re sitting in front of the screen ready to write, but you’re stuck. You have some ideas in your mind, but you have absolutely no idea how to express them. Ian Rankin, Scottish crime writer, said in an interview for The Guardian:

“I have days when I do f**k all. I sit down at a computer, nothing’s coming, I’m having to tear each word out, it’s like digging for coal, and I’ll go: ‘No, this isn’t working,’ and I’ll just walk away.”

It’s okay to have days like this. Different techniques work for different writers. You may try having a break. Or you may immerse yourself in other projects. Or perhaps you may even try collaborating with another author. Do whatever you need to break the block!

TOP TIP: It’s okay to walk away from your novel when you’re absolutely stuck. But you have to find a way to get back to it. Find out what you need to do … Then do it!

3) Doing Your Research Is Non-Negotiable 

So, what’s the setting of your novel? Let’s say it’s about a Russian ballerina from the 1960s? In that case, you’ll have a lot of history to go through. You’ll have to learn about ballet, its trends and techniques in the years you’re going to tackle. You’ll also have to learn about the lives of Russian people from that time. You’ll need to connect with people who lived in those times and can share impressions.

Do you get the point? It’s not just about starting a blank document and filling pages with your words. It’s about making sense. If a single aspect of your novel is off, the readers will notice it and your work would lose its authority.

TOP TIP: Do the learning! Start with relevant articles, interviews and online courses. Dig as deep as you can to make your book as realistic as possible. MORE: Top 5 Research Mistakes Writers Make 

4) The First Draft Is Just That – A First Draft

The first draft is where you reveal the story to yourself. You already have a concept and you know where it’s going, but there still is tons of creativity involved in the process of writing. Hemingway said it best:

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

You write and sweat, write and bleed. This is a meditative process that puts you in direct contact with your deepest thoughts and emotions.

But you’ll be done with the writing and then what? Are you done?

Nope! That’s when the pressure really starts building up.

Is your novel good enough? Well, you’ll be the first one to read it and make the initial fixes. Yes, you’ll have someone editing it, but you still cannot present the first draft.

Read the first draft. Correct whatever you need to correct to make it clearer  and more attractive for your audience. Go as far as you can with it BEFORE you send it out to editors and beta readers.

TOP TIP: To respect the creative flow, you mustn’t disrupt writing with thoughts about making it perfect. You just write. And then read the first draft and correct whatever you need.

5)  Marketing Is Part of Being A Novelist!

What does a writer have to do with marketing? Don’t you just delegate that part to the publisher?


If you self-publish your novel, you’ll have to deal with the entire marketing process. But even if you have a publisher, you’ll still be involved in marketing events. Plus, you’ll need to build yourself a personal brand online, so readers will learn about you and your work.

TOP TIPIn 21stcentuary everybody need marketing. If you self-publish this thing, you’ll have to deal with the entire marketing process. Even if you have a publisher, you’ll be involved in a lot of events. MORE: How To Build Your Own Online Platform

Good Luck!

BIO: Samantha R. Gilbert is a journalist and professional writer at cheap writing service. She loves dancing, travelling and taking photos, but her main hobby is writing about her experience and adventures. Meet her on Facebook.

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Writing A Bestseller

Is writing a bestseller in your plan? Have you fleshed out your characters and mapped your plot, with exciting twists and turns along the way? While some novels seem to randomly catch on like wildfire and others don’t, not all things about bestsellers are random.
Many thanks to Global English Editing who have been in touch with this fab infographic. I really like how they’ve broken it down into 11 key steps. Obviously there’s no guarantees in this writing malarkey … But it’s ALWAYS a good idea to immerse yourself in research and work out what has gone before.

Language Choices 

When it comes to language, keep the writing short and sharp. An algorithm calculated with 80% accuracy that a bestseller will have shorter sentences, simple vocabulary, and active narratives.
Bestsellers usually have a high readability, which includes narrowing down the story to only one or two topics, to avoid confusion in readers.

Characters, Genre & Style

Female protagonists are very popular, and books featuring this tend to win awards. 52% of best-sellers are written in the third person perspective.
Romance is the most popular genre; romance novels sell the best. The next most popular genres for bestsellers status are contemporary novels and thrillers. I was interested to see themes of grief don’t tend to be popular, but then this makes sense. All of us will face bereavement in our lives to some extent, which is very difficult. Whilst fiction that deals with this might be cathartic, it is unlikely we will find this entertaining! 
When you are almost finished your book, but not sure what title to pick, consider this. The title of a bestseller is usually simple, begins with “The”, and tends to point to objects and things. Interestingly, the word “wife” happens to be very popular in bestseller titles recently. 

Are you ready to go for it?

Maximise your chances of grabbing a spot on the bestseller list by checking out this fab infographic in more detail after the jump, this Nanowrimo. Enjoy and good luck!

More Links To Help You Write Your Bestseller:

14 Proven Writing Tricks From Genius Writers 

12 Amazing Authors Share Their First Draft Top Tips

12 Amazing Authors Share Their Rewriting Secrets 

Top 10 (Normal) Struggles When Writing A Book

8 Ways To Jump Start Your Novel’s Description 

5 Things I Learned Writing My Debut

How I Wrote The Other Twin 

3 Steps To Writing, Editing And Submitting Your Book


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