Advice for Writers: How to Get Started

No matter how many ideas you have or how inspired you feel, sitting down and getting those first words in your notebook or on your Word doc can seem impossible. Even before writing the first sentence of this post, tea was made, desks were tidied, and odd jobs were done to procrastinate the task at hand.

Because we know how you’re feeling, we’ve put together some tips to help get you through that tricky initial period in the writing process that will put you on the path to your first book in no time — that you’ll then want to submit to us, of course.

1. Start off short

If you know you want to write a novel or an extended piece of writing, one of the best places to start is writing flash fiction and short stories. Writing short form pieces will invariably teach you how to get the most out of every sentence you craft and every character you create. We promise this will prove invaluable in your later (and longer) writing endeavours.

2. Planning is vital – don’t scrimp on it

Did you know that Daphne du Maurier used to plan out every single chapter of her novels, including Rebecca, in her notebooks? She also used to sketch how she imagined her settings alongside her plans, such as the famous Manderley driveway… but let’s just say it’s not a bad thing her novels weren’t illustrated.

Throwing shade at mid-century authors aside, the point here is starting a story without knowing what’s going to happen or how it’s going to end isn’t the best idea. Formulating a proper plan and carefully considering the trajectory of your plot is integral to the success of your writing.

3. Don’t fear editing

Sometimes before you even put your words to the page, you’re imagining how an editor is going to react. Don’t let this stall you from getting the words out there! A lot can change in the editing process, but don’t shy away from that productive change! Check out our author Marianne Holmes’ piece, ‘In Praise of Editors and Editing’, for a published author’s insight into being edited.

4. Find your peers

Building a network of fellow aspiring writers and getting involved in writing groups as well as online writing communities will be indispensable in the early stages of your process. Reading each other’s work, offering feedback, and learning from fellow writers will improve your output tenfold. Nothing will be more gratifying and heart-warming than progressing alongside your peers.


As always, thank you for reading, and be sure to tweet us  @AgoraBooksLDN if you found any of these tips helpful or if you wish to share your tips with us!