Opinion Posts

15 February 2018

Jane Harper’s Force of Nature is a bestseller

by Jack Hadley Opinion, Student Successes

We’ve been thrilled this week to see Jane Harper’s second novel, Force Of Nature, enter the Sunday Times Bestseller list at number 7, following on from the success of her first novel The Dry. Jane started out by taking a CBC creative writing course in 2014, and soon after secured representation at CB Australia, with Alice Lutyens at Curtis […]

15 February 2018

Keeping it real: three ways of bringing your novel to life

by Suzannah Dunn Author Interviews, Opinion, Writing Tips

Novelist Suzannah Dunn is one of the tutors of our creative writing courses. Here she talks to us about that most tricky conjuring act that all novelists have to master: How to give the illusion of truth in your novel – and the irony that this very struggle to show a convincing reality can cause […]

29 January 2018

How to find the right narrative voice for your novel

by Lucy Courtenay Guest Blog, Opinion, Writing Tips

Children’s and YA author Lucy Courtenay is a client of Curtis Brown agent Stephanie Thwaites. In this special guest blog, Lucy tells us how she came to write her new YA romantic comedy Movie Night (newly out from Hodder Children’s Books) as a dual narrative – and why she generally prefers writing in first person in her novels. […]

22 January 2018

How to blend truth and imagination in your writing

by Lisa O'Donnell Opinion, Writing Tips

Award-winning novelist Lisa O’Donnell is the tutor of our next six-month online creative writing course. Here she talks about why it’s important to do more than just ‘write what you know’ in your novel …  I’ve had some interesting debates recently around truth as a storytelling device. People tend to say you should write what you […]

10 January 2018

How to finish your novel, by former CBC student Jenny Quintana

by Anna Davis From Our Students, Guest Blog, Novels by CBC Alumni, Opinion, Writing Tips

The latest CBC student to be published is Jenny Quintana. Jenny came to CBC’s six-month London-based novel-writing course to work on her debut novel, The Missing Girl, with support from tutor Erin Kelly and a lively student cohort which included fellow published author Caz Frear. Soon after the course finished, Jenny was signed up by […]

29 December 2017

Ten tips for starting to write that novel

by Anna Davis From the Agents, Opinion, Writing Tips

Have you resolved to start writing a novel this new year? Have you been mulling over an idea for a book for years but failing to actually sit down and get it started? Or are you feeling the creative urge but struggling to make it take shape as a coherent story? Writing a whole novel […]

14 December 2017

Literary agent Alice Lutyens: ‘I’d love to be sent a good ghost story’

by Rufus Purdy From the Agents, Opinion

A huge supporter of our creative writing courses, Curtis Brown literary agent Alice Lutyens has taken on more former Curtis Brown Creative students than anyone else (she represents CBC alumni Kate Hamer, Jane Harper and Catherine Bennetto, among others). Here she tells us why she feels the psychological thriller phenomenon is coming to an end, […]

30 November 2017

Neglected lady novelists and me

by Judith Kinghorn Guest Blog, Opinion

It was the 1980s and I was a student in London when I began to discover women writers who, despite belonging to my grandmothers’ – or even my great-grandmothers’ – generation, had voices so compelling and authentic I couldn’t stop reading them. They included Rosamond Lehmann, Elizabeth Taylor, Elizabeth Bowen, Barbara Comyns, Rebecca West, Stevie […]

03 November 2017

Does your protagonist have to be likeable?

by Anna Davis From the Agents, Opinion, Writing Tips

A question I’m often asked by students on our creative writing courses is, “Does my central character have to be likeable?” The honest answer is, it depends on how you’re constructing your novel and how reader-sympathies need to work with it. Let me explain … If you need the reader firmly on-side with your central […]

25 October 2017

The scariest fictional characters

by Jack Hadley Opinion,

What better time than to celebrate our favourite scariest fictional characters? It’s almost Halloween: a time to revel in the ghoulish and the macabre. The obligatory Halloween reading list has become as essential to the holiday as cheap plastic witches’ hats and toothache. While we covered some of our favourite scary books last Halloween on […]

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