3 Tips on Writing a Novel from a Published Author


Photo by Vessy Robles '18

Kat speaks to Wakefield students about writing and the #writerslife

Being an author is hard and time consuming; many say it is a fool’s dream to try to make a living from writing. Kat Spears visited Wakefield on November 10th and shared how she makes it as a published author. Here are three pieces of advice she shared with The Warrior Book Club.

Whenever someone sits down to write, the hardest part can be to find an idea. To write a whole novel, like Kat Spears, you’re going to need a really good idea. Her plots are authentic and real. How does she do it? Her ideas come from many different sources. Some are from her own experience. Her idea for Sway was for it to be “Saint Peter and Jesus in a contemporary high school setting” (after editing it became a very loose concept). You never know where your next great idea is going to come from, so pay attention.

Kat Spears writes really honest and genuine dialogue, but how does she do it? The best way to write good dialogue is to listen to the people around you talk, pick up phrases they use and how they say certain things. You should always edit your dialogue out loud (ideally you should edit the whole book out loud). The best thing Spears said about writing dialogue is, “if you have to work too hard to write it then it’s not going to sound good as honest dialogue.” She always writes from a teenager’s point of view, so pay attention during lunch to what people are saying around you if you get stuck when writing dialogue.

The last thing you should know about writing a novel is that A LOT is going to be edited. For instance, in the original version of Sway there was a whole conversation that Spears had written that was a real conversation between her and a high school friend, but it got cut out because it could have offended people. This tip is more of a reminder; you will probably keep 25% of what you write.

So, write on.