MORE to BROWSE - Pages that might be of Interest

Saturday 11 November 2023

My Guest: Time To Write by Emily Winslow



Welcome to my Blog!
Wander through wonderful worlds
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meet interesting people,
visit exciting places
and find a few good books
to enjoy along the way!

Welcome to the Time to Write blog tour! This writing guide by Emily Winslow is perfect for anyone who wants to write a novel and could use support. The tour runs until November 12th. Don't forget to check out all the stops below. Join us as we celebrate this book and this inspiring author.

About the Book

Have you always wanted to write a novel?

Emily Winslow will help you develop the mindset and skills to get you started, keep you going, and see you through. Time to Write is a creative writing guide aimed at anyone who wants to write a novel and could use some support.

It contains 49 lessons, each easy to read and packed with insights based on experience. Emily has taken her own work to high levels with major publishers, and has learned from teaching at Cambridge University what makes students light up and what makes their work drastically, excitingly improve.

This book is full of encouragement, recognizing and affirming different work styles. It's a total handbook, teaching a broad range of specific writing skills with insight and clarity as well as covering topics around writing in-depth, such as how to give and take critique and how to evaluate publishers and agents.

It's time to write the stories inside you!

Purchase a copy of Time to Write by visiting Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo or Apple Books. Make sure you also add Time to Write to your Goodreads reading list.

Also available at:

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

Do you need to know the ending to write the beginning?

by Emily Winslow

I get asked this a lot.

The answer is: maybe! Some people work best that way. At the extreme end there are people who plan the whole book, even plan individual chapters, in an outline that they then stick to. If one of your favorite authors writes a book a year—or more!—they’re likely planners.

But some people, like me, can’t work that way. I’ve tried. I figure out a book by writing it. If I do write an outline, I inevitably deviate from it as soon as I’ve written a few scenes, using ideas that were not clear to me until there were words on a page.

I love knowing as much as my protagonist knows and no more than that. Then they and I together figure out the answers. If I know the answers and the ending in advance, two things happen: 1) I no longer have the urgency and motivation to write onwards in order to figure things out, and 2) I no longer have that connection to both the detective and the reader, carrying the same level of knowledge and curiosity. Being in the reader’s shoes in that regard helps me keep track of their suspicions and suspense, because I share them.

This also means I don’t do a book a year. I spend about two years with a book to write it, and then take time to think up what I want to write next after that. It also can mean having to edit and rearrange more than a planner might. This does mean I write fewer books than planners do. In some ways that’s a problem; having a book a year can inspire brand loyalty in readers and please publishers. I’ve made my peace with that simply not being the way my mind works. And I like spending time with whatever I’m writing about. I enjoy getting to linger and dig deep.

While I don’t outline beforehand, I do outline at other stages. Sometimes I write an outline when I’ve reached the middle, after writing the first half freely, making up mysteries to which I don’t know the answers and stirring up trouble for my characters. At that point I might decide the answers and plan carefully how things are going to be resolved.

Or I might outline after I’ve finished a first draft, to assess what I’ve done and think about what I want to emphasize in revision.

Are you a planner, or do you figure it out as you go along? Either way is genuinely fine. Both ways have advantages and disadvantages, and many writers don’t have a choice. I’m an extreme improviser, and that’s just how it is. If you’re in the middle of the spectrum, you may find that you want to choose planning, to get more done more efficiently, or you might find that the freedom of improvising brings out interesting ideas you’d like to explore.

Throughout Time to Write, my book about how to write a novel, I urge writers to get to know themselves and work with their natural tendencies. There’s no one way things must be done. For me, self-discovery is part of the joy of writing, and part of that is coming to understand your own processes.


About the Author, Emily Winslow

Emily Winslow is the author of a series of crime novels and a memoir. Her books have been published by Random House, HarperCollins, Allison & Busby, and Shanghai Translation Publishing House.

Her novels (The Whole World, The Start of Everything, The Red House, and Look For Her) have been called “brilliant” (The Washington Post), “vivid” (Parade magazine) and “dazzling” (Shelf Awareness). Her memoir, Jane Doe January, is “meticulously constructed and ultimately terrifying” (The New York Times), “potent” (Kirkus), and “compelling” (Bustle).

She grew up in the U.S. and now lives in Cambridge, England teaching for the University of Cambridge and for Cambridge Creative Writing Company.

Find Emily online:


Instagram: emilycwinslow

Praise for Time to Write

Acclaimed, multi-published authors love Emily’s teaching.

Emily Winslow is a uniquely brilliant teacher. I would highly recommend that anyone who cares about improving their writing follow her advice.” Sophie Hannah

"Emily has taught a range of students of all ages, nationalities, and experiences, from first timers to those already in the early stages of a writing career. Students blossom with the confidence she provides." Elizabeth Speller

This book is packed full of fantastic insights to ignite and stoke creative inspiration. Every teacher and student of creative writing will want it on their shelves.” Menna Van Praag

Popular life and business coach Kristen King recognizes the value of creative writing on mental health and self image:

Emily’s insights skillfully draw out not just words and stories, but also self-awareness, perspective, and connection. Whether you're working on a book-length project, dabbling in personal essay, or just trying to figure out who the hell you are, this book is a must-have for anyone who thinks their words and stories aren't enough.”

My review

There is a saying: 'Everyone has a story inside, waiting to get out,' which often leads to 'everyone can write a novel'. This is sort of true, but not everyone is able to write a novel that is actually good enough to read. Which is a great pity for those who really do want to write - and write well - but do not know how to go about it.

Step in Ms Emily Winslow with her very easy to read and understand 'how to' guide, Time To Write.

I have been a published author for over thirty years now, with two notable periods being a very sharp learning curve - when I was first accepted by William Heinemann (now part of Random House UK) back in 1993, and when I made the decision to go 'indie' (self-publish) in 2006 with my nautical series of novels. On both occasions (and yes, through the years in between,) I discovered 'how to' and 'how not to' do things. I do rather wish that I'd had Ms Winslow's excellent book to hand!

The desire to write a novel can be very strong. For many it is a case of 'when I get the time,' but for the serious 'wannabe' that time is somehow found because the compulsion to write is, well, compulsive. Where and how to start though? Ms Winslow delves into those initial steps of  'getting going' and through easy to understand examples keeps you going.

In my opinion, Time To Write is one of the best creative writing guides that I've come across, not merely because the author clearly knows what she is talking about, but because she is genuinely encouraging and enthusiastic. She explains that in most instances there are no hard and fast rules about writing - it's your novel, you write it how you want to write it, but where there are rules she explains them and why they are important. 

By taking you through the initial idea you have for your story, Ms Winslow goes on to explain structure, plot, writing skills, storytelling skills and technical skills. And includes what to do next - the getting your book published, whether through an agent, traditional publisher of self-publishing. Marketing v promotion and the disappointment of rejection, the elation of celebration.

Even experienced writers with several successful titles under their belts will find something of useful interest in Time To Write, especially, I think, indie (self-published) authors who do not have the benefit of an agent or publishing house editor to lean upon during those solitary periods of self-doubt. (And believe me, we have them!) 

If I had to chose one piece of advice Ms Winslow gives? It's the fact that daydreaming and thinking about what you're going to write is just as important as actually doing it. Oh good; that means I don't have to feel guilty about the hours I spend looking out of the window  and wondering how I'm going to tackle that next difficult scene that m ylead  character has created without first informing me what he's going to get up to...

If you want to write, or need that extra nudge to keep writing, read this book. 
 ***** 5 stars

*** *** 

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Amazon Author Page: 


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or you might like these:
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Harold the King  (UK edition)
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Blog Tour Calendar

October 16th @ The Muffin Join us as we celebrate author Emily Winslow and interview her about Time to Write. You'll also have the chance to win a copy for yourself.

October 17th @ A Storybook World

Stop by Deirdra's blog to read "What Skills Do You Need to Write a Novel?" by Emily Winslow.

October 18th @ What is that Book About?

Visit Michelle's blog to see her spotlight of Time to Write.

October 19th @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews blog

Join Lisa for an interview with Emily Winslow.

October 20th @ The Faerie Review

Stop by to read Lily's review of Time to Write by Emily Winslow.

October 21st @ World of My Imagination

Stop by Nicole's blog to read her review of Time to Write.

October 23rd @ Sue Edwards’s blog

Check out Sue’s blog to read her review of Time to Write.

October 24th @ Michelle Cornish's blog

Read a guest post from Emily Winslow about why she teaches.

October 26th @ The Knotty Needle

Stop by to read Judy's review of Time to Write by Emily Winslow.

October 26th @ Deborah Adams's blog

Check out Deborah's spotlight of Time to Write and read her interview with author Emily Winslow.

October 28th @ Sue Edwards’s blog

Revisit Sue’s blog to read a guest post about choosing which publishers to submit to by Emily Winslow.

October 29th @ Shoes, Seeds, and Stories

Stop by to red Linda's review of Time to Write by Emily Winslow.

October 31 @ A Lit Life

Come see Stephanie's spotlight for Time to Write.

November 2nd @ A Lit Life

Read Stephanie's review of Time to Write.

November 3rd @ Bookshine and Readbows

Stop by to read Steph's review of Time to Write.

November 5th @ Shoes, Seeds, and Stories

Revisit Linda's blog to read a guest post by Emily Winslow about whether Time to Write will help someone who wants to write a memoir.

November 6th @ Michelle Cornish's blog

Revisit Michelle's blog to read her review of Time to Write.

November 7th @ A Lit Life

Listen to Stephanie interview author Emily Winslow on her podcast A Lit Life.

November 8th @ World of My Imagination

Revisit Nicole's blog where she shares "Does Daydreaming Count as Work?" by Emily Winslow.

November 9th @ A Storybook World

Revisit Deirdra's blog to view a spotlight of Time to Write.

November 10th @ Jill Sheets’s blog

Stop by Jill’s blog to read her interview with Emily Winslow.

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