- Always keep a notepad at the side of your bed. Wake up in the middle of the night with the best idea ever and write this down. Next morning puzzle over the blankness of your pristine notepad and the intelligible scrawl on your bedside coaster.
- Spend hours researching very minor points on the Internet. N.B. Always include an animal character in your stories so that watching puppies and kittens on YouTube can be classed as valid research.
- Don’t worry that a single light bulb moment can have you spending the next two months building this up into a story in your mind. N.B. to the outside world it may appear that you are doing nothing.
- Buy a large supply of custard creams and bulk purchase fish fingers so that the family don’t starve while you are chasing a deadline and writing in your pyjamas.
- Write detailed character profiles so you can understand these people and their motivations. Spend too long deciding on which celebrities they most resemble so that you can add a picture to said profile. N.B. Remember to do a character profile for the cat/dog/guinea pig so that you can enjoy more guilt free YouTube video watching.
- Buy lots of post-it notes in all available colours and sizes. You CAN NOT have too many of these. They are mainly used for plotting out the story threads and timeline but also come in handy for writing down general reminders when you are ‘in the zone’. Reminder notes may include: Feed cat/Dismantle giant cobweb/Check if child has been to school recently.
- Start writing. Be in awe of amazing word count. At this rate you’ll have all 100k words done by a week next Tuesday.
- Get distracted by shiny new story idea and forget about novel you are meant to be writing. Realise shiny new idea is not Booker prizewinner and reluctantly go back to the other story.
- Hate your crappy characters and stupid novel so much that you want to dig a large hole in the garden to bury your computer in (and possibly yourself depending on degrees of crapness.)
- Force yourself to finish the utter pile of poo that is your novel. Have a cursory read through before you plan to ceremoniously burn it and discover to your delight that it’s not entirely poo, in fact some parts of it are actually quite good.
- Edit, edit, edit and re-edit until you are back to believing it is definitely poo.
- Give it to your partner to read and stand over them to check they laugh in the right places.
- Send to your editor, pour yourself a large glass of gin and state firmly that next time it will be different.
- Return to first bullet point.
(This is not an approach I would recommend.)
Author - BELLA
When I grow up I want to be a writer...