Hello and welcome to KSP's Top Tip Tuesday blog series, designed to inspire your writing habits - or just distract you for a few moments! - during the coronavirus pandemic.
These top tips have been retrieved from the KSP archives. They will be published fortnightly on Tuesdays and come to you courtesy of past Writers and Fellows in Residence.
Top Ten Tips
By Nathan Hobby, KSP's 2015 Emerging Writer-in-Residence:
I’m yet to meet a good writer who wasn’t a good reader. Read widely and deeply in your genre and beyond.
If you’re writing narrative, read Robert McKee’s Story. It’s for screenwriters, but its lessons are universal. He’s too dogmatic, but he’ll get you thinking about what makes a good story.
Another great book: James Wood’s How Fiction Works.
History has so many fascinating stories. Have you considered writing creatively in non-fiction?
Blogging can be a wonderful way to share your writing and connect to an online community. I recommend Wordpress.
Best cure I’ve found for internet distraction is the Freedom app, which blocks your internet connection for as long as you specify - https://macfreedom.com (works for PC or Mac).
I’ve started using Microsoft OneNote to organise my notes on characters, plots, and revisions—I’m finding it very helpful. It’s now included in Office.
Work hard, but don’t be in a hurry. There’s few worthwhile books which can be written quickly. Most writing needs many revisions. Take a break between versions and come at it with fresh eyes.
Don’t get obsessed with how many words you’ve written. Most novels have lots of excess fat and deletions are nearly as significant to a novel’s development as the additions.
Take delight in small successes.
Nathan Hobby is writing a biography of Australian writer Katharine Susannah Prichard, to be published by Melbourne University Press in 2021. It expands on his 2019 PhD thesis from the University of Western Australia. His first novel, The Fur, won the TAG Hungerford Award and was published by Fremantle Press in 2004. He has also worked as an academic librarian in a theological college since 2008.