First Time NovelistNew Novelist for the first time
How does it feel to be a writer for the first time today? - Book Podcast Series | Book
It has never been simpler to become an writer in some ways - but in others it has never been more difficult. Whilst self-publishing, blogs and crowdfunding have opened up possibilities, there is also unparalleled monetary pressure that will dictate who can and who cannot, writing cheaply than ever before with textbooks and progressing ever lower.
Sian is meeting with two first authors this weekend to debate the challenge and joy of today's publication of a book: How to Be Human and Preti Taneja, writer of We That Are Young. They are both nominated for the Desmond Elliott Awards, an accolade designed to help novice authors write their next work.
Tip for the first novelist
We are so happy that he can join us in some of the classes he has learnt. "Honesty to the core" - that was the slogan of my university. But when I began to write, it was difficult for me, tongue-in-cheek in the words of my then ten-year-old daughters.
It is a work of phantasy, but it is also real, and by that I mean Alex's emotions, his aspirations, his disappointments, upsets. It is not just him - I agree with all the authors of the volume in one way or another.
That is my motto: either or not, it must be the truth. That' s what I am aiming for in my letter - to take something that is really and then to put in more tragedy than is often allowed in reality, but to know that it is still basically truth. All of us know what it is like to loose a beloved person, although few of us have seen someone we know killed.
However, if you shrink from the feeling you had when your own lover died for worrying that it made you too nude or that your response to your own life was a fountain of embarrassment, then you must be a much better author than I am to make the character's response ring come to fruition, because to me no amount does - but that's how the person would have lived it - make up for my own first-hand experience in imparting it.
This does not mean, of course, that you have to make your character your own old egos, but only that there should be something of yourself on the side you wrote, even if only as a starting point for the inner life of your people. If I read my unreleased work again, I see that I have retained this crucial element, even if I reconcile the character in a more shallow way with myself.
I was reluctant to go for the reason that sometimes we don't even want to be with our true selves - for the reason that we are afraid of refusal, of judgement, of condemnation. To me, typing is like a form of treatment, a time to recognize who I am. Unless you are sharing your inner thoughts with your audiences (be it your practitioner or your reader), you will not get everything you can from your letter, and so your reader will see that something is not there.
I' m working on my next novel now, and the management is a New York City attorney, but I reassured my girl when I said I still will be.