Advanced search

Start now or hold off?

(9 Posts)
Kai1977 Tue 26-May-15 13:24:11

Bit of a random question!

Other than English Lit at A level and being an avid reader, I haven’t had much to do with the creative writing/literature area for a long time. I do some copywriting and editing on advertising copy as part of my job so may basic grammar and communication skills are OK. I’ve completed a couple of beginner’s creative writing courses, read lots of books on creative writing (and applied the learnings through exercises) and I’m applying for some more intermediate ones starting in September.

I have a few months between then and now free and have a fair idea for a novel I want to write (most characters fleshed out etc). The intermediate courses are very comprehensive, and they might give me a better grounding if I hold off writing the novel until I develop more next year but I think I have a decent understanding of what's required.

My question is, should I just continue to practice writing short stories and ‘develop the craft’ during these summer months or should I just have a go between June and Sept at getting as much of the novel down on paper in a first draft? If most of the first draft needs completely rewriting anyway, is there much point writing it now?? On the other hand, I am excited to just get on and write the story. Any thoughts?


TheWordFactory Tue 26-May-15 15:19:21

Personally, I would kick off with the novel.

I'm a professional writer (novels, plays etc) and I think you have to jump in at some point. I see people who beagn writing at the same time as me, still going on courses etc.

Now there aint anything wrong with courses and learning the craft. But it should never be a delaying tactic.

The reality is you will never feel an expert. You will never feel ready. I don't and Ive been in this game years.

OpheliaBitz Tue 26-May-15 15:26:16

Start it now!! If you have lots of ideas get them down and see what happens. The course can always be used to help hone aspects of plot and character as you go on. From what I've been told by writers that I know, your first draft is likely to be completely rewritten regardless of whether you've done a course or not.

Good luck with the writing and the course! (I'm quite jealous as I would love to do that, and have ideas of characters and plots floating around my head with nowhere to go and no time to give them. Yet. One day...)

samsonagonistes Wed 27-May-15 14:56:18

First drafts always need rewriting anyway, so I'd go for it now!

schmalex Wed 27-May-15 17:31:56

Yes, go for it. You will end up completely rewriting the first draft and if you start it now you'll have something to work on when you start your new class in September.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Thu 28-May-15 14:27:50

Start now! The more you have written, the more sense the craft books / teaching will make.

TheWordFactory Thu 28-May-15 16:34:44

That's a good point countess.

It's very difficult to consider, for example, structure, both in your own and others, if you've never played around with structure beforehand.

Whiteshirt Tue 02-Jun-15 19:10:42

You sound as if you're approaching novel-writing as though you need to amass points for 'qualification', OP. Honestly, it doesn't work like that - the idea that writers needed creative writing courses to 'qualify' to write a novel is a very new thing. Just write. And absolutely to what pps have said about books on self-editing, characterisation etc making much more sense once you're actually working on something.

Kai1977 Tue 02-Jun-15 22:33:21

Thanks all for all your help and advice, really helpful and I am raring to go!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now