Writing Advice
- Introduction
- A room of one's own?
- Where do you get your ideas?
- Where do I begin?
- What books do I need?
- How important is research?
- Should I join a writers' circle?
- Literary terms
- Typing it up
- Sending it off
- Penbenders
- Creating characters
- Constructing the story
- Short Fiction



I have often been asked for advice by those who would like to write fiction, and it seemed to me that this website was as good a way as any to offer some help and tips to would-be novelists from complete beginners to seasoned writers of non-fiction who would like to branch out.

You can find advice on many aspects of writing fiction by clicking on the links on the left, but if you have a writing query that isn’t answered here, please use the contact form, and I will send you a personal reply. You might sometimes have to wait for a while, but I will reply eventually!

So if you are just starting out, and are unsure of what you want to write, or how to get it down on the page, or what you do once you’ve done that – or if you are simply seeking inspiration ? I hope I can be of some help. But do remember, it is simply advice. There are no rules in fiction-writing; just basic conventions which it’s as well not to break unintentionally.

I have included some of what I call Penbenders – a few little exercises to get the juices flowing. If you find that sort of thing a bore, give it a miss, but if you think they might be fun, try them.

One other thing – I use ‘he’ to describe every living thing with no definite gender, so if you are PC, you’ll have to put up with it, or forget the whole thing, because whenever I see ‘she’ used in this way, it’s like chalk scraping on a blackboard. I can’t bear it, so I’m never going to change my wicked ways.

If you’re still with me despite that awful confession, I’m glad, and I wish you the very best of luck with whatever you write.

Jill McGown

Jill McGown
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