Get stuck in with your Novel

Do not worry about your credentials, or whether you can see the end. Just start that novel. You will have heard this advice before, because it’s important. I’ve met a lot of people who just won’t start writing, for fear or lack of confidence. But you will see that it’s not as hard or scary to start that novel once you just get going.


You simply have to get the words on the page; to plod gradually forwards till you reach the end. If it feels daunting, don’t think about it. All writers go through this and they do get through it, so why shouldn’t you? My boyfriend always says: “Just do a bit” – and he’s right. If you commit yourself to a regular pattern, even the tiniest bit, you will see progress. The words will mount and you’ll be inspired. You’ll become obsessed, and then you will soldier on. ☺

Reach the end

You will get there. Make yourself do it. Write before you go anywhere near facebook or email. It works if you follow this rule. You will be so proud of what you’ve achieved. Then you’ll read it back and cry. But we all do this. The important thing is to simply reach the end. The first draft may well be shit. But don’t worry, and don’t throw it out. This is where the work begins. You’ve created a sculpture, be proud! Then stop gloating and start moulding. Nobody said that writing a novel was easy. But bit by bit, word by word, sentence by sentence, you can get there. Be patient and in the end you will have a book.

Read back over the shaggy dog story

Aloud, to yourself. Don’t be put off by your own sighs, or the smashing of your head against the wall. Remember we all go through this. Grin and bear it. Make notes on the manuscript and in a notebook. You’ll have had new ideas blossom during the writing of the first draft. Hopefully you wrote them down. Use this to embellish your story. Sit and think about your novel. Grow it. Brainstorm new twists and turns for your brilliantly developing plot.

Don’t panic

There are so many crappy stages to writing a book. It’s not born perfect. Realise this then let it go. It’s like oil-painting. The first layer looks like a five-year old blobbed it on. But the next layer is better, and so on. And it may turn out to be a masterpiece! Give yourself that chance. Sit down and start to edit now, word by word, sentence by sentence, chapter by chapter. Use your notes and your thoughts and your newborn bravado and develop draft two. You don’t have to mend everything right now because Round Three is just around the corner, so start that novel…


Guest post by Sara Jane Sheikh/Potter. Sara Jane Sheikh

I’ve been writing forever; amassing four and a half novels and one novella. I’ve had interest from agents and two small publishers, mainly for my latest book that I penned, live, online. I’m still editing Abnormal now. I’m thinking that you sometimes have to kiss a lot of frogs (novels) – whilst finding your voice – before you meet your perfect prince (publisher).

Twitter: @sarajanesheikh


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