"The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of one's trousers to the seat of one's chair", said Kingsley Amis.
But is it really that easy? There are hundreds of creative writing courses in Australia and thousands of aspiring authors desperate for advice on how to get started. Is penning the great Australian novel simply a matter of picking up a notebook and a pen and writing?
Acclaimed British novelist Louise Doughty says the answer is yes. While the idea of writing an entire novel may seem like a vast and unconquerable task, breaking it down into bite-size pieces is certainly achievable.
Based on her hugely popular weekly column for UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper, which drew tens of thousands of responses worldwide, A Novel in a Year is essential reading for any would-be novelist.
Designed to be read a chapter each week, it examines different aspects of the craft of writing and includes set exercises to help build the reader's confidence and technique. Louise Doughty discusses issues such as finding time to write and crafting first lines through to plot construction and narrative viewpoint.
Deeply practical and with sound advice at every stage, 'A Novel a Year' aims to have the fledging writer with a body of material by year's end which should form a solid start to their novel.
About the Author:Louise Doughty
is the author of five novels: Crazy Paving, Dance with Me, Honey-Dew, Fires in the Dark and Stone Cradle, as well as three plays for radio.
Crazy Paving was shortlisted for four awards including the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and Fires in the Dark won awards from the Arts Council of England and the K. Blundell Trust. Throughout 2006, Louise wrote a column for the Daily Telegraph's Saturday Review, which proved phenomenally popular to readers.
A Novel a Year
Simon & Schuster
Author: Louise Doughty
RRP: $24.95 Buy it now at