Faber Session 6 Guest Tutor Susie Steiner

I love Monday’s, seriously. People say about Monday Morning Blues, but nope, Mondays are my best day if the week. Not only do I get to go to Faber (please note: I won’t be saying that when It’s my turn to have my work critiqued lol) but I get CAKE! Yep, Mondays are cake day, so this week I had pistachio & rose to go with my latte and book 🙂


Ok, now we’ve got that out of the way, back to my lesson…..

Susie Steiner has been a journalist for The Guardian and is just about to publish her first book, which, she says has taken her 10 years (on and off) to write. But it wasn’t until she gave up journalism that she found the time to do it properly. The main subject of her talk was about research.

So how much research should you actually do for your novel? And when should you do it?

A few things i picked out were:

Remember you’re not writing a manual.

If you set a novel in a real place you have to get it right. If you fictionalise a place you can do what you want.

Don’t let facts get in the way of a good story.

Don’t get hung up on research, your imagination plays a large part.

Bend the truth if your story needs it.

Truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction needs to be believable, it needs to make sense. Sometimes real facts don’t.

As regards to when you should do research. Doing the research first can inspire and get your imagination up and running, but, doing it at the end can mean that you can just slot pieces in and be more focused on exactly which areas of your novel need the most work.

So what do you think? When do you do your research?

14 thoughts on “Faber Session 6 Guest Tutor Susie Steiner

  1. And then there’s the chicken and the egg – which comes first? So far a little research followed by lots of writing followed by more focused research followed by re-writing followed by….you get the picture! It’s not really anything I can call a ‘system’ but I enjoy working this way…not too sure what it’s going to be like when I get to the end and have to try and pull it all together! At that point I might just discover the perils of working on scenes….


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