Five tips for would-be writers – No 1: if you want to shine, you have to polishOf all the possible endeavours to choose from, writing a novel has to be one of the most quixotic. Prepare to sacrifice lie-ins, holidays, and your social life in favour of sitting alone in a room making things up and writing them down, until you have crushed somewhere in the region of 100,000 words into submission, all in the knowledge that the odds of publication are stacked against you.
It was with this question in mind that I recently launched the blog myfirstbookdeal.com, where I post interviews with writers on how they surmounted the slush pile and got their first novel published.
THE mystery is worth a book in itself. How could a hitherto unknown novel by Harper Lee, writer of “To Kill a Mockingbird”, remain hidden for 60 years, and why was it not published before? For all the swirling questions, there is one certainty. The book will become a blockbuster without Ms Lee so much as signing a copy. If only every author could be so lucky.
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