Writing a successful novel or screenplay doesn't happen by accident.

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Below are ten key points regarding creativity and the writing of fiction.

We've included quotes from well known authors as well, our experience working with writers at the Writers' Studio and class participants feedback to illustrate the points we are trying to make.

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We love hearing from writers who have taken our courses to see where their creative journeys have taken them.

We've recently received updates from several former participants and wanted to share their good news.

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Writing a novel or screenplay is an art and a craft that requires writers to go outside their comfort zone and understand the challenges of the creative process.

To fully harness your creative potential, it is essential to grasp the subtleties of the creative process and understand how at first, elements of the craft of writing and storytelling can often feel counter-intuitive or counter-instinctive.

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In fiction, particularly commercial fiction, the most important thing is to keep your reader turning the pages.

As the English novelist, E.M. Forster said in his book Aspects of the Novel, a story “…has only one merit: that of making an audience want to know what happens next. And conversely it can only have one fault: that of making the audience not want to know what happens next.”

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This is an excerpt from an ABC Book Show interview between Jennifer Byrne and best-selling Welsh novelist, Ken Follett. I thought it was a great interview that captured the essence of what makes a successful novel and reflects many of the key principles we apply in our courses at the Writers' Studio.

In her background briefing of Follett she said, “I think it's fair to say you went somewhat slowly to the top. Ten books which went nowhere, then the eleventh - Eye Of The Needle, which sold over ten million copies.

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Bob Mayer is the author of The Fiction Writers' Toolkit. He has published 30 fiction books and has two million books in print, translated into eight languages.

He is a regular teacher and speaker at the Maui Writers' Retreat and Conference. He says there are six important questions to consider when writing a novel (this applies even more so to films.).

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