Aspiring novelist? 10 suggestions:
Read widely, deeply, critically. Study the craft.
Observe, listen, pay attention. Keep a notebook.
Experience live performance. Sell your TV.
Only dream of getting published until you have done lots of writing and thrown most of it away.
Read aloud. Otherwise, resist the urge to talk about your story.
Between drafts, hide your manuscript. (Send it postcards if you like.) Return as a critical reader.
Study writers on writing. You might begin with Stephen King’s On Writing, Elmore Leonard’s ‘Ten Rules’ and The Way To Write, by John Fairfax and John Moat.
Seek rigorous critique. (Mean it — don’t ask the people who love you).
Steve Kaplan is terrific on comedy. (If you’re spending more time in classes than actually writing, why’s that?)
A few hard years on, when your novel is as good as you can make it, ask the Booker-listed novelist John Murray for a critique. Invite him to be brutal.