Fri 22 November 2019
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Ten steps to becoming a published writer
So, you’ve written the great British novel. What next? Literary editor, novelist and IdeasTap alumnus Kirsty Logan gives us her ten steps to getting published…

Read

As well as showing you how narrative works, novels and short stories teach you about language: the rhythm of sentences, which phrases and images are fresh and which are cliché, and how to find the right balance between dialogue, description and action. Unusual non-fiction is great for potential story ideas too.

Write

It’s amazing how many people forget this step! It’s all very well reading books about writing, or listening to podcasts about writing, or discussing writing with other writers. But none of these things put words on the page, and the act of writing – of making mistakes and figuring out how to fix them – is the only way to learn.

Finish what you start

Starting is easy, but it’s hard to carry on when the initial excitement has faded. Unfinished work can’t be published, so ignore all other distractions until your story is complete.

Edit

Polish that story until it’s as good as you can possibly make it. Make sure the plot and characters are strong and the language fresh and interesting.

Join a critique group

Meetup.com lists local writing groups, or you could start a group with friends. It might take a while to construct the right critique group – it can be tricky to find people who genuinely want to improve your work rather than grind their own axes. Steer clear of people who say "I don’t like this because it’s not what I usually read" – that doesn’t help you.

For the full ten steps

IdeasTap

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