Ten New Year’s Writing Resolutions

Like the stale peanuts, the suspicious bottle of wine, and Noddy bloody Holder, I’m still here. Rest assured that I remain committed, and have a lot more to say about the business of writing. So, as another year slips away like an egg sliding off a skillet, I thought it might be useful to summarise where we’ve got to in the last few months in anticipation of all those New Year’s resolutions to finally write that novel. Nothing too heavy – just a few basic tips to get you started and keep you writing...

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Top Ten Writing Mistakes Editors See Every Day

In addition to writing and teaching, one of the things I do for a living is to evaluate manuscripts for their suitability for publication. I read fiction (and non-fiction) across several genres, and write comprehensive reports on the books. I try always to guide the author towards knocking his or her project into a shape that could be credibly presented to literary agents, publishers and general readers. You know how Newman and Mittelmark introduce How Not to Write a Novel by saying, ‘We are merely telling you the things that editors are too busy rejecting your novel to tell you themselves, pointing out the mistakes they recognize instantly because they see them again and again in novels they do not buy,’ well they’re right; I am one of those editors.