Sophie King (Murdoch Books/Constable & Robinson) 2014, 128pp, RRP $24.99

The real secret to writing a novel is just doing it.

So, reading a book about writing a novel isn’t going to help… or is it? Actually, novelist and lecturer Sophie King’s book How To Write Your First Novel may well just help chivvy you along if a nudge (or a shove) is required. How To Write Your First Novel - Sophie King - AandU - The Clothseline

Packed with practical tips on how to get your creative juices flowing, there are practical exercises to help you use your real-life experience; ideas of how to structure a novel and how to develop plot and characters. There are also nuggets of advice from successful authors.

There are perhaps more inspirational books about novel writing – for example, namesake Stephen King’s unsurpassable On Writing – but this one gives you the bones of how to do it, if you’ve got the drive to add the flesh.

It’s no fuss and no nonsense, but the overall tone is empathetic and encouraging. Ultimately, King suggests there’s no magic about novel writing – and indeed there isn’t, a large part is just grit and determination.

So what are you waiting for? Just get writing yourself – or if you’re stuck, get this book to give you the kick start, or if you’ve broken down halfway through then the jump start, you need.

Jenny Thompson

This title is available through Allen & Unwin. Click here to purchase your copy.

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