How To … Posts

07 February 2019

How to choose the right setting for your novel

by Gytha Lodge How To ..., Writing Tips

Gytha Lodge is a writer and multi-award-winning playwright who lives in Cambridge. After studying creative writing at UEA, she was shortlisted for the Yeovil Literary Prize and the Arts’ Council England fiction awards. Gytha is represented by Curtis Brown agent Felicity Blunt and her debut novel, She Lies in Wait will be published by Michael Joseph […]

07 January 2019

How to write the perfect pitch letter to an agent

by Anna Davis How To ..., Writing Tips

New year is the perfect time to submit your novel to agents, when they’re all just back to work, feeling fresh and hungry for new talent. But how do you write the killer pitch-letter? Here are my top 15 tips on how to make your letter stand out from the pack: 1. Write to a […]

05 December 2018

How to query a literary agent

by Catherine Cho From the Agents, How To ..., Writing Tips

Finding an agent is a matter of fit. It takes persistence and confidence, remember that publishing is a subjective business, and so what might be a NO for some agents is a YES for others. Catherine Cho, an Associate Agent at Curtis Brown, shares her top tips on how to send a query to a literary agent.

24 August 2018

How to write great dialogue in fiction

by Anna Davis How To ..., Writing Tips

Well-handled dialogue is one of THE essential ingredients of a good novel. And yet it’s something that many writers struggle with and even shy away from. The trick is to make your characters’ speech carry the ring and rhythm of real-life conversations without actually trying to recreate them verbatim, complete with all the er’s, um’s, […]

09 August 2018

How to create great characters in fiction

by Anna Davis From the Agents, How To ..., Writing Tips

With the CBC team all heading off for our summer holidays, we wanted to leave you with some writing tips to give you some food for fiction-thought across the next couple of weeks while we’re away – plus some writing exercises for those of you who want to keep working while you’re lying by the pool […]

22 June 2018

How to write a synopsis for your novel

by Anna Davis How To ..., Writing Tips

At Curtis Brown and C+W, we like to see a good one-page synopsis as part of your pitch package. Read our 16 tips on how to write a great synopsis for your novel…

16 March 2018

How to get through the first draft of your novel

by Hannah Mary McKinnon From Our Students, How To ..., Writing Tips

Hannah Mary McKinnon took one of our online creative writing courses, and is now a published author with her second novel,  The Neighbours, newly launched in the US, UK – and Canada, where she lives. Hannah has been one of our most positive and persevering students, and she brings these qualities very much to bear […]

19 January 2018

How to submit your novel to literary agents

by Jack Hadley From the Agents, How To ..., Writing Tips

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…

29 December 2017

How to start writing a novel

by Anna Davis From the Agents, How To ..., Writing Tips

Have you resolved to start writing a novel this year? Have you been mulling over a good story 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 novel […]

13 January 2017

How to create suspense in your novel

by Anna Davis From the Agents, How To ..., Writing Tips

Lots of students on our creative writing courses are working on psychological suspense novels – one of the biggest-selling genres at the moment. We associate suspenseful writing with other genres too, particularly crime fiction, action thrillers, horror and supernatural novels. But actually lots of other sorts of novels make use of suspense: when a young […]