I'm at the very start of my journey. I have always wanted to write a book and already carry a notebook everywhere I go jotting down ideas. However, I have no idea how to write a book correctly. Would it be worth doing a creative writing course. I'm enjoying studying at the moment. Could you all give me some recommendations on a good course ?
How about competitions? Are they a good idea to get the ball rolling.
How much time and £ do you have to devote to a Creative Writing course? They can go all the way from short intensive courses to degree-level study.
Also, are you the kind of person who thrives on structure and group discussion of your work? If so, a course could be great. However, if you're like me and belong to the "write in a cave and deny all knowledge until it's finished" person, then it's probably going to be your idea of Hell.
Competitions are great for getting a few credits under your belt, which can help make you stand out to agents later on. They can also sometimes lead to a traditional publishing deal (my first book was a short story collection that won a competition) but even if they don't, they're still worth looking at.
What sort of writing do you want to do? Do you have a form in mind (e.g. novels or short stories) and do you have an audience in mind (e.g. children or young adults or adults)?
Thanks so much for the detailed reply. I'm on maternity leave at the moment and as yet have no job to return to so I was thinking a bit of study may fill my time. I wish I had gone for the OU English Lit course but I was indecisive and now I've missed the enrolment deadline I do thrive on structure. However, since I've had the children I'm more leave me in my cave ALONE.
I want to write a novel aimed at adults. A romance (chick lit) but a tad grittier. I have also been writing short stories for my pre teen sons to read and they've seemed to enjoy what I've written although are obviously biased.
Any particular competitions you would recommend or do I just google away and see what comes up.
The biggies for short stories are the Bridport, the Bristol and the Sunday Times - but there are loads and loads, so a quick Google is probably the best place to start.
And best of luck! Don't let the blank pages intimidate you. And here's my favourite bit of writing advice ever: the first draft of everything is shit. I think about this multiple times a day when I'm working on a first draft.