29 June 2017

Tips on how to write a novel from Jonny Geller

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by Jack Hadley From the Agents, Writing Tips

Top literary agent and joint CEO of Curtis Brown Jonny Geller recently posted up a Twitter ‘thread’ with some tips on how to write a novel for new writers. We’re sharing them on the blog for your leisure.

Jonny’s post certainly created a stir on social media, with lots of budding novelists and students on our creative writing courses joining in to debate the merits of each point. Whether you agree with all of them or not, they might help you to think about your own writing a little differently.

1/6: Don’t let us feel we are beginning a story with you. Start as though you’re in the middle, finish the novel as though it’s a new beginning.

2/6: Plot is key, but not at the expense of character. We’ll go anywhere with a full character but question every move with a thin one.

3/6: How a story makes you feel is as important as how it makes you think.

4/6: Love writing your book, but don’t expect to love reading it.

5/6: We read to learn, experience and feel something new Comfortable is anathema to a writer, and readers can sense complacency instantly.

6/6: Take your characters to the limit. It’s easier to withdraw from the cliff’s edge than keep pushing up a hill.

As well as expert teaching from published authors, all our novel-writing courses offer dedicated modules on submitting your novel to literary agents – and include sessions on writing a synopsis and preparing a covering letter.

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