Writing Tips Posts

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 […]

30 January 2018

Three things every budding children’s writer should know

by Anna Davis Writing Tips

Catherine Johnson is the much-loved tutor of our 3-month online Writing Children’s Fiction and YA course, as well as having written some fantastic YA and children’s novels herself. This week we asked her to name the three most important things you need to do if you want to write a children’s book. This is a […]

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. […]

24 January 2018

Tips on how to write a children’s book

by Anna Davis Guest Blog, Writing Tips

Author Jo Simmons‘ hilarious new book I Swapped My Brother On the Internet (Bloomsbury) explores an idea that SO many kids have dreamed about: What if you could trade your obnoxious sibling in for a an awesome replacement? Naturally, when SiblingSwap.com turns the dream into a reality for Jonny, the result isn’t quite what he’d hoped for … Jo […]

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 […]

21 January 2018

Reviewing the first draft: how to read your own novel

by Anna Davis From the Agents, Our Courses, Writing Tips

In the excitement of typing ‘The End’ on your completed first draft, you could be forgiven for thinking you’re all set to start sending your work out to literary agents (many students on our creative writing courses have fallen into this trap). But I would always recommend you go the extra mile (or indeed the […]

19 January 2018

Submission tips from literary agents

by Rufus Purdy From the Agents, Writing Tips

The literary agents at Curtis Brown and C+W get hundreds of submissions each week, so how do you – as a writer – make your work stand out? We asked the literary agents for their top submission tips for new writers who are trying to find an agent. Here’s a selection of their responses… Good […]

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 […]

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 […]

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