Helpful Blogs for Writers

Authors are, in my experience, so generous with their time. I’ve been working on my novel for a few months and have come across incredibly helpful tips and blogs from authors. A lot of these have valuable advice, particularly when it comes to finding an agent and the publishing process.

I approach writing my novel like I approach any task at work. I research it as much as I can. I spend a lot of time researching what makes agent submissions successful with the hope that one day I will be successful too. Quite a few of these are from thriller writers (because that’s my genre) but the tips are useful no matter what genre you are writing in.

I’ve rounded up some of the best blogs below:

1. Phoebe Morgan

Phoebe Morgan is an editor at Harper Collins and an author in her own right (in the thriller genre). Her most recent novel The Wild Girls is due to be published later this year and is fantastic (I read an ARC via NetGalley). Her blog has useful tips detailing her journey and how she got published. My favourite articles are those demystifying the editing process here and how to get a literary agent here.

2. Charlotte Duckworth

She doesn’t update it anymore but Charlotte has some great posts on her blog. Charlotte is also a thriller writer. Her most recent novel is The Perfect Father. My favourite posts are How I got my book deal here and Things that make me cry about publishing (and things that don’t!) here.

3. Allie Reynolds

Allie is a recent debut thriller writer (her novel Shiver is great). Allie has a great post on how she found her agent and includes the query letter she sent (incredibly valuable!) here.

4. Laure Van Rensburg

Laure has a debut novel, The Downfall, coming out in 2022. Laure’s blog has some super useful posts such as How to find an agent here and Submitting to agents here.

5. The Story Grid

The Story Grid, created by Shawn Coyne is a model of story telling. It’s really useful for learning about how to structure your novel and there are some great posts (and podcasts) where they look at the method in practice.

6. Holly Craig

Holly is a writer who has a very helpful blog about the writing process. She is currently in the process of editing her novel with her agent. My favourite posts of hers are Who should edit your work? here, From MS Submissions to Contracts: How I made it there here and a useful post on submitting to agents with a template query letter here.

7. Stephanie Wrobel

Stephanie is the author of The Recovery of Rose Gold. Her website has some useful posts for writers including where to get query letter / novel feedback here and a whole series on how she found her agent here.

8. Nicola Martin

Nicola is the author of Dead Ringer. She publishes some super helpful posts on writing. My favourites are 6 Things to know if you want to write a novel this year here and How to get your book published here.

If you know any other helpful writing blogs, please let me know and I’ll add them to the list. I hope this post proves useful for any other aspiring writers.

Until next time,


Writing the middle part of a novel sucks

On 1st February I wrote “I’m at the 50k mark at the moment and am struggling to get through the clunky middle part of the novel.”

It is now the evening of 14th February and I’m at 61,000 words. So 11k words in around 14 days. I’ve slowed my pace slightly this week. I’ve really struggled. The middle part of the novel is by far the hardest. When we start to write we have an initial idea, and we usually have an idea of how the story will end. But the messy journey of how to get there is the hard bit. I map out my plot with post it notes but I’ve had to change them so many times whilst writing this middle section.

I reckon I have another 10k words left and then I’ll be writing the main climax of my novel. I’ve already written my epilogue and the last few chapters, I just have the main action scenes left and the lead up to it. There’s one point I’m really struggling with at the moment. I need to spend some time figuring out how to fix the plot.

My course with the Faber Academy has been going well. The course has new topics every 2 weeks. So far we’ve all introduced our books and have done work on openings. Openings are so hard. I’ve changed mine so many times, and I also keep changing my mind about whether or not I want to include a prologue. I asked people on Twitter and the general answer was that prologues were fine as long as there was a good enough reason for them.

Because now is potentially the most free time I’ll ever have, I’m also doing another course alongside the Faber Academy one. I’m currently enrolled on the 6 week Curtis Brown Creative Writing a Psychological Thriller with Erin Kelly. Yes, I did question myself when I decided to do two courses at once. But the CBC course only lasts 6 weeks and after all, I have the time which I’ll never have again. The CBC course has been really good so far as it’s so specific to the genre I’m writing. They also have fantastic resources. I definitely recommend.

I’ll check back in again soon. I’m thinking of making a list of my favourite author blogs to follow. Some are so generous with the information and help they give out.

Hopefully the next time I write here, I’ll have almost finished my first draft! (I’m already getting excited to edit).


My Writing Routine

My current writing place

I love reading routines of writers. It’s so interesting how differently writers write. On the Faber Academy Writing a Novel course we all has to describe the place we write. Mine is pictured above. It’s a small foldable desk in the bedroom of my flat in central London. On the walls I have post stick notes of all my chapters which I stare at constantly, especially as I do my day job from this desk due to the pandemic.

I try and write almost every day. On weekdays, I will try and write 1,000 words after work. I usually do this between 9pm and 10pm. Sometimes I don’t quite manage 1,000 but I try and make those days few. I try not to write much longer than an hour so I still have some of my evening to watch TV or read.

I’ve planned out my chapters so this helps. Sometimes I still get writers block or find some chapters much harder to write than others. I’m at the 50k mark at the moment and am struggling to get through the clunky middle part of the novel. I can’t wait until I’ve finished the first draft so I can edit and redraft. I change the structure constantly. Some chapters don’t work and sometimes I realise I need something more. Sometimes I think of new plot points I hadn’t considered.

On a weekend I try and write 2k words a day. It’s easy at the moment as we can’t make plans due the pandemic. I’ll stick a writing podcast on or some music and just write.

So far, writing little and often is working. Since I started doing this at the start of January 2021, I’ve written 30,000 words. If I keep going at the same pace I should have a 90, 000 word novel by mid March. That excites me.

I still have a long way to go. Lots of editing and I’m sure the structure will change. My goal is to have my novel is a shape ready to query agents by the end of summer 2021. That’s the same time as my Faber Academy course finishes. Fingers crossed.