Writing a novel: Advice from Cecelia Ahern

EmmaBy Emma  •  10 Feb 2015 at 9:51pm  •  Activities, Learning, Writing

by Emma

I was idly flicking through a copy of Marie Claire one afternoon when I came across an opportunity not to be missed; a Marie Claire hosted event with Cecelia Ahern on How to Write a Novel.

There were two main reasons that this was an opportunity not to be missed for me:

  1. Not only do I love to read but I love to write.
  2. I love to learn. I am forever looking at new courses and looking to expand my knowledge and build on my passions. The year of the yes has encouraged me that I need to make sure I continue to do this, whenever possible.

Actually, there was a third reason reason too. I absolutely love all of Cecelia Ahern’s books; not only is her writing entrancing, she tells magical tales that you will keep in your heart forever. But that’s enough fan girling for now, there is more of it to come.

And, at just a train ride away with lots of writing advice, the ‘year of the yes‘ meant I couldn’t say ‘no’!

So, I hot-footed it to the train station to head down to the bright lights of London town (or, more specifically, Marie Claire’s offices in Southwark) where I joined a group of like-minded aspiring novelists and Cecelia fans. We were greeted with a glass of bubbly (always a great way to kick start an event) before we filled into a lecture theatre for the main event; a question and answer session with the lovely lady herself, Cecelia Ahern.

As the event was entitled ‘How to Write a Novel’ I am going to share with you some of the hints and tips that I picked up. But even if you don’t have a yearning to put pen to paper and produce 100,000 words of prose, bear with me, there is more to learn than just the practicalities of writing.

On the writing front I wanted to share the following snippets with you:

  • Write about something that moves you and intrigues you.
  • When you find the story that won’t go away, that you keep thinking about, that is your novel.
  • Writing a diary can be a great release of your creativity and exercise of your writing style.
  • If you introduce your characters at their lowest ebb – whether it is inflicted on them by life or by their own actions – then you have somehwere to go.
  • Keep a book of ideas to capture your inspiration and passions, they may well grow into a novel of their own or perhaps introduce a new character to your pages.

Cecelia also explored the methods that she uses to write a novel, not in an instructional manner (do this and you will have a best selling novel) but to impart the best advice of all – in writing as in all fields – do what you love, keep trying, find out what works for you best and stick to it.

Writing a novel advice from Cecelia Ahern

I came away from the event thoroughly inspired to make some time in my busy blogging schedule to pick up my novel writing pen quill and write to my hearts content. It was something that I used to do, many moons ago, and something that the year of the yes has shown me I should not forget because writing is my passion.

You never know, a best seller might come out of it. And even if it doesn’t, I will be doing something I love, and what can be better than that?

About the Author

Emma loves sunshine and flip flops, prosecco, chocolatey treats, things that sparkle, trips to the beach, reading and blogging.

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