Tips from the top: Sarah Odedina’s top 3 writing tips


We are now close to the final entry week for our Young Writers Prize and have received many exciting submissions.  As an editor I am constantly impressed by the fortitude and dedication that is needed to actually write a book – never more so when submitting for competitions where there is no definite reward.  Writing is hard work, and also a craft that can be honed and improved all the time. Sometimes it is helpful to be reminded of some obvious tips and hints and here are my top three:

Don’t forget when writing your novel that something has to happen.  It has to have a beginning, a middle and an end.  The reader has to be taken on a journey through the book and enjoy moments of excitement, tension and anticipation.  This is plot.  It is the engine that drives a book.

Your novel, no matter where it is set, from a contemporary recognizable situation to a real historical period or a fully fleshed out fantasy world has to be authentic to the reader.  There has to be enough information for the reader to understand the rules and norms of the setting but not so much that we are over whelmed with detail, distracting us from the plot.

Who are we reading about and why do we care?  Are they living breathing characters or simply motifs and ways for you to get your message across.  Remember a hero is never as interesting as when they are a bit flawed and even the most villainous villain would have something, or someone that they cared about.

Good luck!


Join us for a final Young Writers Prize live chat on Facebook TOMORROW (Wednesday 23rd) from 5pm for those last minute queries and questions about your entry. See you there!


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