If you’ve been toying with the idea of writing a novel, these top five tips from SA-born author Marita van der Vyver are sure to inspire you.
Marita has penned over 13 novels, as well as cookbooks, short stories and young adult literature. Her latest release Borderline (also published in Afrikaans as Grensgeval) is available now.
Here are Marita van der Vyver’s top five favourite writing tips:
1. Stop procrastinating
Get your backside on a seat and start writing – and don’t give up until you reach the end of your story. Remember, it’s difficult to start a story, but it’s a hundred times more difficult to keep going until you reach the end.
2. Don’t fret about the ending
You don’t have to know how your story is going to end when you start writing it. You will find the end while you are writing. In fact, the whole writing process becomes more compelling if you keep on writing because you want to discover the end of your own story.
Grab a copy of Marita’s latest release now…
3. The end is just the beginning
When you finally reach the end of the story, your work is actually only beginning. Because all you have now is a first draft – and any good novel gets rewritten many times before it gets published. The difference between a mediocre novel and a good novel most often lies in rigorous rewriting and editing.
4. Start the old-fashioned way
Start each new scene or chapter in the old-fashioned way – with pen and paper – before you move on to your PC or laptop. Just like an athlete needs to warm up her muscles before she runs a marathon, a writer needs to warm up her ‘writing muscles’ – and writing by hand is still the best way of doing this.
5. Take a break to get outdoors
If you get completely stuck in your writing, go for a long walk, preferably in the countryside or a park or as close as you can get to a bit of nature. Walking in nature does something magical to your body as well as your brain. It sparks your imagination in unexpected ways, beneficial to any kind of writing.
Compiled by features editor Stephanie van der Plank