Chapter 1 Bonus: Interview with Lucy Jago
Lucy Jago’s first book, The Northern Lights, published in hardcover by Hamish Hamilton in 2001 and paperback by Penguin in 2002, tells the story of Kristian Birkeland, who set out to explain the phenomenon of the Northern Lights. Vanity Fair wrote, “Jago uses the techniques of a novelist to bring to life not just the tragic, likeable figure of Birkeland, a manic-depressive genius, but also the romance of his scientific endeavour.”
Her second book was Regency House Party (published in 2004 by TimeWarner Books), written to accompany the television series in which ten modern-day men and women were transported back to life in the early nineteenth century. She’s currently writing a young adult novel.
Six Good Ideas about…Overcoming Writing Blocks and Fears
1.You don’t have to start writing right away. Make up a project box and every time you have any ideas about the project, write them down and put them in the box. You can also put in clippings, photos, bits of dialogue, or anything else that might be relevant. Review this material from time to time and you’ll know when you’re ready to start.
2. It’s helpful to have at least a rough outline before you start. However, leave yourself some room to come up with new ideas as you go along. If an outline seems intimidating, try drawing a mind map first.
3. You don’t have to start at the beginning. There’s nothing wrong with first writing any scenes or chapters that you know you’ll want to include. This might mean you’ll have to adjust them later, when you put them into their final position, but so what?
4. Commit yourself to finishing writing anything that you start. That way, even if you have doubts along the way, you will get to a completed first draft. That’s the time to judge the material, not when you’re in the middle of it.
5. If you have a harsh inner critic that stops you from writing, pause and challenge it. If you need extra help, download the inner critic transformation trance you’ll find on the ‘shop’ page.
6. When you finish one project, pause and celebrate, but then get right to work on the next thing. That way you won’t be putting all your energy into worrying about whether the first one will sell.
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