Advice from our authors
Forming the idea
Tips and inspiration
Travel is essential to creative writing – but you needn’t go farMaggie Shipstead always thought of inspiration as something to be found in ‘distant places, at the ends of long journeys’. But what the author of ambitious new novel Great Circle really missed this year was the journey to her local café.
The writing process
How I wrote it: Jenni Fagan on LuckenboothSpanning 100 years and nine floors of an Edinburgh tenement building, Luckenbooth is dazzling readers with its literary ambition and wickedly good storytelling. Jenni Fagan tells us about the 20 years and wall-spanning plans she poured into her third novel.
How I wrote it: Hafsa Zayyan on We Are All Birds of UgandaHafsa Zayyan managed to write her debut novel in six months, while working full time as a lawyer. Here the winner of the Merky Books New Writer’s Prize discusses the hours of research and late nights it took to produce her brilliant first book.
Creating the best structure for your book
10 of the best… last lines in fictionIt's often said that the first line in a book is the most important. But what about the last line? The most powerful payoffs can stop us in our tracks, and suddenly change the entire meaning of a novel. Others can, in a single sentence, shift the focus from the characters onto ourselves. And some can just give us an ineffable sense of closure after a long, emotional read. Done well, a last line can stick in the mind forever.
Is there such a thing as an ideal number of pages? And why are we preoccupied by the size of novels? Sarah Shaffi finds out.
Authors on the Penguin Podcast
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