2. Read, lots, all the time, different types of fiction and non-fiction. Take notes. Be spoddy about it. Apart from anything else, reading will spark your own ideas.
3. Cut, cut, cut. Any woolly bits have to go. Anything that might be funny. (If you’re wondering, it probably isn’t.) Prose that is too purple. Any writing that doesn’t push the plot forward or develop the characters. You can easily lose a third of your first draft to the scalpel. And it can hurt.
4. Rewrite dialogue after you think you’ve finished. Could it be sharper, funnier? Yes, it could.
5. It can be really hard to see flaws when the clock is ticking – you just want to finish the damn thing! - and you’ve been sweating over your book for months. So let the almost finished manuscript marinate alone in your files for at least a week or two without looking at it – read, shop, bake instead – and then go back and read it again.
Polly's latest book is The Angel at No.33 and it's getting some awesome reviews! Our full interview with Polly will be up later this week.