15 January 2009

Anyone can write a novel

Saw this on hereisthecity.com and it made me laugh, even though it's a bit harsh. I mean, we all need to start somewhere, right?

Dear Ms Robinson,

Having lost my job as a derivatives trader, I have been looking at my options and am thinking of becoming a writer since I can afford to take some time off. My friends tell me that my anecdotes are brilliant and I should write them down. They say everyone has a novel in them, so why not me? I notice you have written a number of books and am wondering if you can tell me where to start.- CB

Dear CB

Do you see Ms Robinson suddenly announcing she wants to try her hand at mathematical modeling? No, you do not. Does Ms R think she can be a plumber because she can turn on a tap?

One of the things that full-time writers hate is people who think they can write; they assume there is little skill needed and just the fact that you can read and spell equips you to write. (It's the same way for people who get Photoshop and think they are graphic designers.)

As for writing classes, the less said the better. You either can or you can’t. You might well have a book inside you, but do keep in mind we have many things inside us: kidneys and a liver, for example, and these are best kept where they are. You see my point CB?

Writing is not about sitting in a cottage overlooking the sea and penning a paragraph or two while looking forward to tea at 4pm. It’s about serious plotting, planning and dedication. The best writers cannot afford to take time off: they are at it day and night. Should you manage to pen a novel, chances are you will be thrown on the slush pile. Even if an agent takes you on, there is still a lot of work to do.

That is why writing is not something you try your hand at, it is a passion. If you had it, you would have written by now.


Suzanne said...

Well, that certainly told CB.


Lorraine P said...

Just had a peek at ihearts! CONGRATULATIONS :-)
You must be so excited!

Suzanne said...

I've just heard your news. I'm so pleased for you.


Can't wait to read it.

Barbara said...

Congratulations, Lucy!

Wow! And you've been soooo quiet about this. I bet you've been dying to talk about this.

Looking forward to buying the book when it is in print.


Lucy said...

Thank you, all! It's been soooooo hard to keep quiet!

Michelle Styles said...

Lucy --

many many congrats.

If you would like to be on the AMBA (Association or Mills & Boon AUthors) list -- the annual meeting is in September-- could you please contact me at michelle@michellestyles.co.uk