Mark Edwards' new book, The Magpies, is out now.
1. Before you start, make sure you know what kind of book you’re writing and why – imagine that you had to do an elevator pitch of your novel. This is much harder than actually writing a book, but having a clear idea of your story and concept will help keep you focused.
2. Don’t be afraid to write out of order. Leave gaps. Write the most important scenes first. If you don’t know the answer to something, you can come back to it later.
3. Don’t spend ages polishing and editing each chapter as you go along because you might end up cutting the whole scene and you’ll have wasted loads of time. Try to get a first draft down as quickly as possible.
4. Read and read and read. If you don’t love reading, why are you writing? Reading great books is the best way to learn to be a writer.
5. Don’t be boring. Every page of your book needs to be interesting at least, ideally exciting and gripping and moving. And if you get stuck, stick a sex scene in. Sex scenes are never boring. Well, it worked for EL James…