The Accidental Writer

 Tana French (whom I LOVE) on accidentally becoming a writer (from this interview):

“She didn’t quite know how, though, as she hadn’t ever tried writing in the past. ‘I thought I could never write a proper book, I’d never done it before. But I thought I could write a sequence. Then I had a chapter. The next thing I knew I was turning acting down,’ she says. ‘I wanted to find out what happened. I don’t outline or anything, I don’t know whodunit … I really wanted to know what on earth happened to this guy, and the only way to find out was to write it.’ She tentatively sent the finished manuscript to an editor friend, to find out if she should ‘shove it under the bed or keep going’, and shortly afterwards ended up with a two-book deal. Then came the awards, the sales and the critical acclaim.”

As I go through the querying process, I’m reminded that every brilliant writer had to get their start somewhere. I’m nowhere near Tana French levels of genius–I imagine if she had had to query, the first agent to read a sentence of her writer would have jumped on it–but like her, I’m just going to keep going.

Photo by Alexandra Fuller on Unsplash

3 thoughts on “The Accidental Writer

  1. Its funny how it just starts with one sentence. At the moment I am stuck on that first “one sentence” for my synopsis and it’s holding the rest of it up. So today, I’m going to write 100 first sentences 🙂 I would have loved to act, but couldn’t handle my voice or looking at myself on camera. Now I love to read my own words, so I know I am heading towards my real dream 🙂


    1. That’s how it starts! And the first sentence you write doesn’t even have to be the beginning. When I started my first novel I remember agonizing over the opening sentence, then I just decided to write a scene and see what happened. Now I tend to skip around, writing different scenes, and linking them all together as I go along. (side note: I have no idea how people write longhand. I am reliant on cut and paste.)


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