1. Start with an idea or concept that you are passionate about. The desire to explore it will be a driving force. The research will be a bountiful source of inspiration. And a solid theme will hang on this.


2. Thoroughly imagine and create the ‘world’ of the setting. You’ll be surprised at how this can carry you forward if you get stuck.


3. Plan the infrastructure well: plot outline, writing style, etc, and the characters – be as meticulous as you want and know your babies really well, but be prepared for them to take detours. Create interesting support characters that help define the world/view/character of your protagonist.


4. All roads lead to the ending, so have a clear idea of what that is and help the characters get there. Strong chapter beginnings and endings are integral and will keep those pages turning. They also provide the direction of the novel. Where are you taking the reader next?


5. Set yourself a goal of a certain amount of writing every day, be it hours, pages, or words. This is your creative time and space. And keep writing forward when your ideas flow, you can always go back and polish to your heart’s content when things start to slow down.

Think of artists, they often do exploratory sketches of arms, legs, faces, plants and animals, and then they paint. If a whole day’s work is one good sentence, then that is a day’s work; who knows what may come out of that one fantastic sentence! If for some reason words fail you or you just can’t write another word, read… perhaps look over your research or your characters, read something related to your theme and jot some notes. Or read whatever inspires you. Listen to music that inspires you. Keep that positive forward movement going!

Think of the novel as a whole, work within its totality as well as its different components. Be patient, it is a long process, and be open to realising when it’s time to finish.

About Terri Sedmak…

Terri left a teaching career to concentrate on full time writing, nine years ago. With a writing style that has been likened to Bryce Courtenay and reviews singing her praises, Terri’s proof that belief in yourself and your story, can lead to writing success. Her second book, Empire for Liberty – volume two in the Liberty & Property Legends saga, which is set to span six novels, is released in September. Visit terrisedmak.com for more information

Are you a budding author