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Start now or hold off

edited May 2015 in Writing
Bit of a random question!
Other than English Lit at A level and being an avid reader, I haven’t had much to do with the creative writing/literature area for a long time. I do some copywriting and editing of advertising copy as part of my job so my basic grammar and communication skills are OK. I’ve completed a couple of beginner’s creative writing courses, read lots of books on creative writing (and applied the learnings through exercises) and I’m applying for some more intermediate ones starting in September.
I have a few months between then and now free and have a fair idea for a novel I want to write (most characters fleshed out etc). The intermediate courses are very comprehensive, and they might give me a better grounding if I hold off writing the novel until I develop more next year but I think I have a decent understanding of what's required.
My question is, should I just continue to practice writing short stories and ‘develop the craft’ during these summer months or should I just have a go between June and Sept at getting as much of the novel down on paper in a first draft? If most of the first draft needs completely rewriting anyway, is there much point writing it now?? On the other hand, I am excited to just get on and write the story. Any thoughts?


  • However much you learn before you start writing, it's very likely that much of the first draft will have to be rewritten so I'd go for it and make a start now.

    If you carry on writing stories you will indeed develop the craft - the craft of short story writing. If you begin a novel you'll start learning about novel writing.
  • Go for it! If you have the time you should crack on with it.
  • Start now while you have the free time.
  • Go for it. Because it's much easier to get advice on your writing that is done, rather than a projected project.

  • I'd write the novel before the idea begins to feel stale.

    You can always put the first draft aside and return to it later, as I have done, but getting that first draft down is important.
  • If you have a novel in your head, write it now. It won't be the finished copy, and you will edit the socks off it before it's done, but that story obviously wants to be written. Don't put it off - you'll lose it if you do.
  • Yes, I agree with the others - if you're excited to just get on and write the story, that's absolutely what you should do, Kai.
  • Agree, get it down while you've got that feeling of excitement. You will get more out of the courses once you've had a crack, and your editing will be better for having done the courses.
  • Do it! The courses will help you in the second draft.
  • Just write, for heaven's sake.
  • What they said.
  • As Richard Branson says 'screw it, let's do it.'
    Just do it.
  • Go for it.
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