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Blue sky thinking

Jane Wenham Jones advises a change of approach for a writer used to executive strategies


I have recently retired after a long career managing a large team for a multinational company, and finally have time to begin writing my first novel. I know the format that I should be following in order to write it but my undisciplined side kicks in and gives me inspiration for different chapters at different times and certainly not in the sequence they will probably end up. I am used to aiming for excellence and not stopping until I can do no more. However, if I adopt my usual approach with my novel I know I shall be reluctant to make changes of significance that are so often demanded by editors for fear of it no longer being my novel. My quandary is whether to write my novel until I reach this point and then self-publish or write the story as fast as I can, trying to forget the excellence bit, and leave it to someone else to tell me what changes I should make, which I’d probably feel happier about making. As I am not as young as I once I was, should I spend endless months waiting for someone to give me their verdict or do I choose ‘instant’? I am not aiming for a lucrative contract, just the satisfaction of achieving my dream of writing a novel that someone else will genuinely enjoy. What is your advice?

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About Writing Magazine

Free your mind! In the new issue of Writing Magazine we look at finding new ways to expand your creative horizons. We also take a look at editing, and offer a practical plan to take your work from messy manuscript to a clean draft that will impress editors. In our star interview, Joanne Harris talks about folklore, fairy tales and sprinkling magic into your fiction. Plus inspiring ideas, practical exercises, success stories, writing prizes to win and much, much more!

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