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Write Your First Novel and Get It Published with Lucy V Hay

We screenwriters are so used to hearing ‘nothing’. We spend year after year crafting our scripts, sending them out … only to be met with radio silence.

It can be infuriating.

I know you have considered writing a novel. Is now the time to do it? To finally hold a copy in your hand? To be able to give it to a loved one who then FINALLY gets what you do?

Here’s the GREAT news.

If you are already a screenwriter, your ability to pivot your skillset into writing a novel will set you way ahead of the competition. Loads of novel writers out there write on instinct. The publishing industry has a term for it: A pantser, ie. ‘Writing by the seat of your pants’!

Since ‘screenwriting is structure’ this can be a HUGE advantage when it comes to writing novels. We tend to be plotters with greater awareness of important issues such as genre, pace and structure.  

TEN reasons why screenwriters make outstanding novelists…

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TEN reasons why screenwriters make outstanding novelists…

  • Structure, structure, structure… We’re used to outlining, beat sheets, knowing our endings in advance. This means we don’t run out of steam!
  • Pace … We know that we need to grab the reader on page one and keep them engaged.
  • Genre … Knowing the conventions and which target audiences to appeal is a cornerstone to getting read and optioned as a screenwriter. We can utilise this skill in publishing, too!
  • Marketability… We write because we love it, BUT also to get produced and sold. This more commercial mindset can give us an edge as novelists too.
  • Brevity … Less is more. Always. This is lost on many novelists. Oi Stephen King: do you REALLY need a 1000+ pages when we can do it in 300-400??
  • Visual stories… Rendering the story as image means only ever giving characters something to say when essential. This keeps stories lean and compelling.
  • Cliffhangers… We know how to end a scene or act. With a cliffhanger = page turner. This means we can keep the impetus up, chapter to chapter.
  • Discipline… Screenwriters tend to have a great work ethic. This means we can rise to the occasion and get a 75,000 first draft (after a month or so of prep) in just two to three months. We work brilliantly with deadlines.
  • Re-drafters… We never send out draft one. We know it will likely be draft four (minimum!) before anyone sees it. Too many new novelists press send or publish after draft one or two. Uh oh.
  • Adaptation… Of course we may have already written a script that we adapt into a novel, only to the get interest in the novel… and questions about a screenplay adaptation. BOOM!
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‘Lucy is both wise and candid, and extremely generous both with her knowledge and her time. She was able to steer the course to take account of each individual’s interests and questions and her feedback to us was always positive and constructive. This world of writing can often feel isolated and lonely, but from the offset Lucy made us collaborators, not competitors, so I now feel that I have not only a wealth of information, but a whole new attitude. A great course and I feel industry ready!’
Suzy Enoch // Screenwriter, Novelist, Actor, Director

Lucy V Hay is an expert in this area, having had an eventful career as a screenwriter, script consultant and producer. She has since pivoted that knowledge into becoming a successful novelist. She has gained representation, publishing deals, adaptation options, massive exposure and two key things.

First, she can hold her work in her hands. And second – and this is key – she makes money from being an author. And WAY more than she ever did as a screenwriter.

You can do this too.

In this one day workshop with Lucy, she will show you how you can leverage your existing storytelling skillset and pivot it into writing a novel.

OK, so here’s the magnificent seven to YOUR getting a novel written and published in 2022…

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OK, so here’s the magnificent seven to YOUR getting a novel written and published in 2022…

  1. Your idea. Create a powerful ‘baseline’ for your novel which you can leave with at the end of the workshop. Road test it with friends in the chat, plus Lucy can answer your questions to ensure it’s ‘bomb proof’!
  2. Plotting # 1 – Character. We don’t read novels ‘about characters’. We read novels about characters who DO SOMETHING for SOME REASON. In this section of the course we put our characters under the microscope to ensure our characters drive the plot forwards and don’t ‘run on the spot’. Where do characters *start* and where do they end up? Why?
  3. Plotting # 2 – Structure: Every story needs a beginning, middle and end (but not necessarily in that order!). Here we identify the set ups and pay offs, as well as what we have already and what we’re missing.
  4. Plotting # 3 – Avoiding ‘info dumps’ and hitting the ground running. Why we need to start in the most interesting possible place (whatever that means), just like in screenwriting. We also look at non-linearity, multi strands and ensembles too.
  5. Backstory, POV, tense & word counts. There’s no point in writing acres of back story … we need to make pull its weight in the *now* of the story. Should you write in first or third? Should you use present or past? How long should your book be? Lucy gives you the lowdown.
  6.   Writers often hear the word ‘outline’ and freak out, thinking they have to write epically detailed spreadsheets like JK Rowling. Lucy shows you can outline HOWEVER YOU LIKE. Yes really!
  7. Marketing, publishers and self publishing. A intensive round up of the how, what where and why… as we can do a whole day on this alone!

Is 2022 the year that YOU also publish your first novel as well as continue writing screenplays? If so, join us for day full of ideas, tactics, inspiration, experience and rocket fuel for your writing and career.

More Feedback For Lucy

‘Lucy’s very knowledgeable. The course was action packed. If it were a film, it would be Die Hard.’
Mohammed Tahir // Writer, Director

‘Lucy is an excellent teacher and speaker. Her enthusiasm is very inspiring. I got a lot of very useful information, tips and ideas to proceed with my stories and my carrier as a writer. Cool!’
Nathalie Wechsler-Seibel // Writer for TV, film, podcasts, books and multimedia

‘I’ve read Lucy’s blog for years and always found her approachable and full of realistic, actionable advice. I’m happy to say that in person, she’s the same way.’
Valerie Kalfrin // Film critic, Screenwriter

‘All the information was valuable, pertinent and honest. I appreciate Lucy’s candid, straightforward approach.’
Erica Ruhe // Writer

‘TONS of very practical advice and actionable ideas. Lucy was very straight talking, well informed and had an experience of virtually any situation to recount. I can’t think of anyone better to learn from.’
Mary Took // Writer for play and film, short stories and novels

‘Lucy is no-bullshit about the industry and what’s expected. You get TRUTH! She’s so thorough and extensive in what she covers without missing the details. I loved that Lucy sent us scripts and documents too. Extra goodness!
Guy Lambert // Screenwriter and producer and script guy!

Lucy V. Hay is a script editor, author and blogger who helps writers. She’s been the script editor and advisor on numerous UK features and shorts & has also been a script reader for over 15 years, providing coverage for indie prodcos, investors, screen agencies, producers, directors and individual writers. She’s also an author, publishing as LV Hay and Lizzie Fry; Lizzie’s latest, THE COVEN, is out now with Sphere Books and LV’s debut crime novel THE OTHER TWIN is being adapted by the Emmy-nominated Free@Last TV. Lucy’s site at has appeared in Top 100 round ups for Writer’s Digest & The Write Life, as well as been a UK Blog Awards Finalist and Feedspot’s #1 Screenwriting blog in the UK (tenth in the world!).

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