Have you ever started to write a book, only to give up before it’s finished? I know I have, countless times. And so have many distinguished authors, including the acclaimed fantasy novelist, Terry Pratchett.
Before he died in 2015, Pratchett left instructions that the 10 unfinished books on his computer hard drive were to be destroyed – crushed by a steamroller no less. He didn’t want anybody else to try and finish them. So, this week his request was carried out at the Great Dorset Steam Fair.
It can be hard to finish writing a whole novel but they say each of us has a story to tell. So how can you get it down on paper? Here are a few tips:
- Make yourself write. Set down a time each day devoted to writing. It could be a few hours or as little as 30 minutes – but make sure you stick to it
- Don’t worry what others will think of your work. Even the best authors look at their words with little hope that anyone will like them. Just do your best and write what you like yourself
- Don’t lose heart if halfway through your novel you realise that some important character or part of the plot needs changing. Carry on writing as if the change has already been made then go back and alter what you must. You might find that you’ve changed your mind again. If you are constantly rewriting then your novel is unlikely to ever be completed
- Get a trusted friend to read your book and give their honest opinion – and don’t get offended! They may spot a mistake you’ve missed or have some ideas which could improve your story
- Avoid using too many adjectives and try to ‘show’ rather than ‘tell’. ‘It was bitterly cold’ is much less effective than ‘He shivered and raised his collar against the night air’
- Carry a notebook and write down any ideas you have. Inspiration can come at any time and you don’t want to forget the great plotline you think of whilst you’re on the bus!
- Most importantly, never give up. Keep scrawling away and, eventually, you’ll have finished. Then you can congratulate yourself on a job well done and think about getting it published. Who knows – you may be the next JK Rowling!
Is there anything you’d like to know about education? How can you get your child to read more, or help them with revision? If so, then EQ’s Knowledge Bank is the place to go! It’s a valuable resource for parents, aimed at finding the answers to the questions you want to ask about education and schooling. Not only that, it’s also crammed full of advice and guidance on issues such as bullying, children’s self-confidence and raising happy children. It’s a veritable mine of information waiting to be discovered, just one mouse-click away!
If you do fancy yourself as a budding writer then take a look at Education Quizzes. It has hundreds of quizzes on all aspects of English from creating characters to literary technique. There are also dozens of quizzes in our free-to-play specialist section all about books and authors. Why not give them a go?