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Submitted by visitors to this website

Posted by Layla

November 18th 2009

Hello, I absolutely love writing, but I'm never able to get any where with writing a book. I manage to plan it but I just cant start it off as I'm rubbish at beginnings. Can you give me any tips. And also, when you wrote you very first book, how did you get it published? Thanks Layla

William Nicholson responded:

If you have a plan, then start anywhere - tell yourself the beginning's rubbish but it doesn't matter - because you'll come back to it later and sort it out. That's the bliss of writing. A lot of the real work happens in re-writing. So don't worry about the beginning, just get going. Start in the middle, if necessary. When you're telling friends about your story, where do you start? Start there. As for getting published, your best route is via an agent. Not easy to get an agent, your book has to be great, but your book may well be great. And if you fail to get it published, it's still terrific experience, and will make you a better writer. Plus writing's a joy all by and in itself, isn't it?

Posted by Jonathan Greenfield

November 18th 2009

I've been trying to make a book for three years but I don't know what to write. It's suppose to be about a skeleton that haunts the world. Could you lend me some ideas, please? Thanks!

William Nicholson responded:

This isn't how book writing works. If you really don't have anything to write, then don't write; do something else. The urge to write comes from a strong compulsion to tell a particular story, or communicate a particular feeling or idea. It's true that even with such a compulsion, it can get difficult; but there has to be something there to start with. Forget the skeleton. Write about something you feel strongly about. Maybe write about staring at this stupid skeleton and not being able to make a story work...

Posted by Cody

November 17th 2009

Hi Mr. Nicholson. My brother is doing a book report and he is going to write a letter to you for extra credit. Can you please give me your address so we can mail it to you. Thanks Cody

William Nicholson responded:

Send the letter to my publisher and they'll pass it on.

Posted by Talia

November 16th 2009

sorry to bother you again, but i was wondering if you have any tips for young writers. i've been trying to write this one book for about two years now and the ideas hahe stoped coming. what do you think i should do?

William Nicholson responded:

Put that book to one side, and start thinking up another one. See if ideas come. If they do, write the new book. Then go back to the first book later. If no ideas come, you have two options: go out and observe the real world, find material there, and tell it as a story; or decide writing isn't your thing after all.

Posted by E B

November 16th 2009

Hi, Pennsylvania again, since this is the only possible way to reply I'm submitting another question. I didn't need a promotion of your other trilogy. I just wanted to hear an honest response because I felt that whoever created Bowman, Kestrel, and the entire society of aramanth had to be an incredible person. I'm currently writing a book and I'm not saying this because I want advice on how you find inspiration or how you create such beautiful characters because those are unanswerable, and frankly dumb questions. I wrote to you simply because you were kind of my idol and I was jumping at the chance to possibly ever meet the guy who wrote the books that I dream over. The books that I wish my life was a part of. You may think I’m exaggerating, but you have no idea. If none of this matters to you, I'm sorry. I've just always had this idealized image of who you were and I've wanted to compare it to the real person. I know that there's a very slim chance that we'll ever meet but I had to try right? Who knows, maybe I’m sending this ridiculous explanation to an editor because William Nicholson doesn't have the time or care to write back. Or maybe, I really am getting a direct response from William Nicholson. The fact is I just don’t know and I most likely never will. I guess this isn't meant to be public but I don't have a choice. Thanks again.

William Nicholson responded:

This is really me responding, not some editor. I'm not a corporation, I'm only me, dreaming my dreams, writing my books, happy when readers like yourself respond so well. There's quite a bit of me on the website - in little videos and so on - and that's who I am: that bald guy trying to explain his work. I don't know what idealised image you have of me, but whatever it is it couldn't get close to the true wonder and complexity. Just in case you think this a bit over the top, it applies to you too, and to everyone. People are so extraordinarily more complex and wonderful than we ever guess. That's why I love writing. I can get at some little fragment of this complexity. And so can you. So please keep writing, learn the discipline of writing every day, and follow the joy.

Posted by Elizabeth Jordan

November 16th 2009

Hello: What is the status of your screenplay on the Norman Conquest of England? Are you aware of Robin Jacob's film - 1066 - now in production? Jacob's film is based on Helen Hollick's novel, which was a disappointment to me because of her simplistic, one-sided portrayal of William. For many years I, too, have been obsessed with writing about this era. But because William's story is so complex (beginning with Queen Emma!), I have developed it into a screenplay trilogy. I love your films. You are a wizard. Best regards, EJ

William Nicholson responded:

I don't know about the Robin Jacob production, though I believe my producers do. I'm just completing the third draft of my version. Beyond that, it will be in the hands of the producers. They seem very excited so far, so I live in hope. If it ever does get made, the earliest release date would be 2011.