Wild swan: +1916
This summer we want to give new writers an extra boost to promote themselves and their writing on our website.
We are publishing a series of articles to answer the question:
Is 2012 the golden age to be a writer?
(…or is economic meltdown stifling creativity?)
Bearing this theme in mind, we’d like to know if you have any innovative approaches to writing, any strong opinions on the writing or publishing business, or valuable wisdom regarding the tools and techniques you use.
My top tip for aspiring novelists is “Don’t bother about a concept”. In any creative art, concepts are unnecessary, and may even be a hindrance.
Many years ago, I wrote a novel about reincarnation. An interesting concept, no doubt; the problem was that it didn’t work as a novel. Worse still, it put me off writing novels for more than thirty years.
A few months ago, I found myself thinking “What would be a good first paragraph for a novel”? After some thought, I came up with the following, which I hoped a reader would find intriguing: “It was the phone call that Greg had been waiting for. The call that he would soon wish he had never received.” Well, it certainly intrigued me; in fact, I had to write the rest of the novel, just to find out what happened!
I’ve now published it (by courtesy of Completely Novel) as ‘Embargo’ by Guy Stobbert. I have no idea what the concept is, other than perhaps “We humans are a rum lot”. But I think it works as a novel. Just don’t hold your breath waiting for the next one!