Writing a book for the first time (tips you need)

If you’re writing a book for the first time, it’s good to have the tips you need in one place. Here are our advice pages on all aspects of novel-writing.

How to have ideas and inspiration

Nothing is harder to come by than inspiration, and it’s not enough to be inspired, you need a concept a publisher is also likely to get excited by.

Is your idea any good?

Learn the fundamentals of writing

Story, plot and pacing

Character

Any good story needs strong, convincing characters to populate it. Even if you’re writing a true story (a memoir, for example), you need to bring your characters to life on the page. Here’s how to do it:

Prose style and editing your work

Sentences need to matter as much to you as paint does to a painter. And remember that good writing is usually good re-writing, so be prepared to put in the hours.

Our guides:

Next steps

Have we remembered to mention that writing a book for the first time is quite hard?

Help is at hand, if you need it from us.

  • Get editorial feedback on your work. We work with partial manuscripts, as well as complete ones.
  • Try a writing course. Our courses are online, so you’ll be able to work around commitments.
  • Come to our events like the Festival of Writing to meet literary agents in person and pitch your manuscript. Signing up to our mailing lists you’ll be first to hear announcements.