2. Read your characters’ dialogue out loud. Does it sound realistic? Would anyone actually say that? Muttering to yourself at your desk is definitely part of the job.
3. Don’t let anyone else see your work until a) it’s as good as you can possibly make it, and b) you’re ready. Getting feedback is terrifying so make sure you choose wisely who you ask to read it and try not to flounce off in a huff if someone dares criticise your brilliant art. Sadly, taking it on the chin is also part of the job.
4. Cut out distractions, turn off the internet, use a timer if you have to and force yourself to write: it’s the only way you’ll finish anything. The ‘Pomodoro’ app works well at really focussing you for short bursts of time – very useful if you’d rather be gossiping on Twitter.
5. Be kind to yourself. It’s hard work and you deserve a treat now and then. Promise yourself a reward when you’ve finished the first draft (or the next chapter if you’re struggling). Above all, don’t give up. You can do it!