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I love to write, i've been writing stories since i was in reception class. As i went through school i was always praised by teachers and peers about my stories, i was always made to stand up in assemballies and read them out and i got an A* for my short story in my GCSE coursework.

the only problem is i don't have a single clue why people like them so much and i think they're either being nice or are totally out of their minds.
Now i've left school i want to start writing novels not short stories anymore, not to get published but for my own love of writing. I have loads of ideas and i've got about 5 novels already completely planned out from beginning to end. The only problem is i get between 10 - 30 pages and hate my work. When i read over what i've done i think my characters aren't 3D at all and it all seems really mediocre. Then when i ask someone to read it they say i'm out of my mind and it's great.

Sorry about rambling on, the point i'm getting to slowly is, is there any way i can learn to love my own creations? I think the problem with me is i read each page over and over again trying to make it completely perfect. Do you have any tips on how to complete a novel or to help me start liking my own work.

Thankyou for your time


Hi Lucy:

You are not alone! I'd say 50% of the questions I get here involve this very matter. Here are some clues that may help you in your efforts:

I'm sure you know about right-brain, left-brain thinking (if you don't, you can read all about it on the net). When we are writing our first draft, we are using the creative side of our brain,free to write what we want, as we want, when we want, letting the excitement about our wonderful idea carry us along. (Hint: It helps to visualize your scenes in as much detail as possible, that's what keeps the excitement going. Just lean back, close your eyes, and let it play itself out in your head). Don't worry whether it's good or not, just have fun with it.

When we go to evaluate our work, however, with a view to improving it, we switch to the editorial, analytical side of the brain. This side asesses the material calmly, unemotionally, looking not so much at the content, but at the writing itself, asking, "Does this passage do the work I want it to do?"

The problem here is that it takes years of reading, studying, and practice to get to the point where you know when you have improved your work - by replacing "ran" with "loped," for example, or moving a scene set in a pig sty to a location atop a 20-story building. At least it took me years: about 30, all told.

If you want to be proud of what you have written, to take more enjoyment out of it when it is finished than you felt writing the first draft, you have two choices:

1. Spend 20-30 years learning what I have learned; or

2. Hire me at a reasonable price to teach you what I have learned. $2.50 per "lesson," tailored to your particular work. If you later decide to publish, you will be able to begin without worrying about your MS.

You can contact me at

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 1350+ questions.

And good luck with your writing!  

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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