Writing a novel is one of the most ambitious, arduous, time-chomping, patience-requiring and tiresome things anyone can choose to take on. It is so worth it too. Think a marathon is a challenge that reaps the rewards on those that grit their teeth and bare it, well think again. However, writing a story that crackles with energy and passion and sympathy is not easy.

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No. It as much about technique as it is about sitting your backside in a chair and getting on with it. Luckily for you, we have come up with a some of the best bits of advice to help take your book from good to great. What’s more, these are little tips that you can use at any time; the first page of your first draft of that final polish before it gets sent off. Enjoy.

Embrace Every Single Idiosyncrasy You Have

Everyone is weird and quirky and slightly odd. They just tend to be weird and quirky and slightly odd when no one is looking, or in subtle ways or behind closed doors. Basically, we only pretend to be normal for a little bit of time. That’s why readers (and agents) always connect with those characters that show their cracks a little bit, that take silly little risks in the same way we would. Not just that, but most books have to be believable, whereas life doesn’t. That’s why embracing and playing on the little quirks has such a great impact on shaping a character.

It’s All About Your Protagonist

It doesn’t matter how amazing your story is, or how amazing the world you have created may seem, if you don’t have a fantastic protagonist then you cannot hope to have a fantastic story. What makes a great protagonist? Decisions. Have them make decisions. They don’t have to be huge complex things, they could just be simple sentence examples of how they think, but a protagonist needs to make decisions to either get into the mess they get into or to get out of that mess. Either way that is what makes a story. That and the villain/best friends. They are another great way to bring out the character of your protagonist.

Everyone Loves A Show-Off

What we mean by this is, no one wants you to tell them what happened, they want you to show them. Show them the scene that changes everything. Show them how the fate of your character has suddenly changed, for better or worse. That’s what everyone wants to see in fiction. These are going to be the best parts of your story and your readers have absolutely every right to see them play out in their minds. You can tell the rest of the story, that’s fine. But the interesting bits, the big events, the game changer’s, wow, those we all want to see.

Gorgeous Dialogue Is A Must-Have

Good dialogue is one of the hardest things to create, but it will make a good book simply sublime. So, get to know your characters really well, and do lots of rewriting. That is the only way to create amazing dialogue. That’s not all. A character’s voice must sound unique. It has to be distinctive to them and different to the other characters in your story. Oh, and try and stick to “he said” and “she said”, anything else is distracting.


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