Katy Birchall’s Top Tips For Writing A Sequel

By Jim Dean, January 8, 2016

We loved Katy Birchall’s The It Girl, one of the funniest books we read last year! We’re eager to read her new book Team Awkward, and were thrilled that she offered to share her tips for writing a sequel.

Katy Birchall’s top tips for writing a sequel:

1. Always have snacks at the ready.
Seriously, if you forget to buy snacks, you will find yourself thinking about snacks and how you should have gone and bought some when you should be writing your wonderful sequel.

2. Make sure that when you’re making coffee to stay awake, you don’t use the pouches labelled “caffeine free” and then tell everyone that you seem to be immune to caffeine.
You know what, coffee companies should really label their stupid pouches in a clearer way.

3. Do not write on your bed.
You will be so cosy that you will fall asleep and then your head will droop forwards and you will hit your head on your laptop and knock out the braincells you need to write your sequel.

4. When you get writer’s block and you decide to take a break and sing around the room to Taylor Swift using a hairbrush as a microphone, make sure your curtains are closed.
Don’t people know it’s rude to stare? Geez.

5. Prepare for late nights and early mornings followed by an array of comments from your day-job colleagues about your appearance.
Examples include:
“You look tired”
“You look pale”
“You look awful”

6. Don’t tell your friends that you’re stuck for sequel ideas.
They will immediately launch into an absurd plot that makes no sense and involves a main character named after them.

7. Don’t try and write sitting next to a labrador puppy. They will win.
“Why are you looking at me like that? I’m working. No, I can’t pet you right now. Look, I have my laptop open and I have to write this chapter. Stop it. Don’t look at me with those eyes. Don’t put your paw up. Don’t put your other paw up. Don’t nuzzle me. GOOD GOD LOOK AWAY! LOOK AWAY FROM THE EYES! FINE! I’ll go get you some food and then play with you for the rest of the day.”

8. It is a good idea to carry a notebook and pen around with you.
Because when you don’t have one on you and then an idea strikes on the tube, you will end up writing on your hand using eye liner.
And then you will forget it’s there and lean on your hand when you’re at your desk and then your colleague will go, “been down the mines lately?” and laugh loudly and you’ll be very confused before realising you have black charcoal all over your face.

9. Make sure you read over what you wrote the day before so that you don’t forget and write the same chapter by accident.
This is annoying and can lead to great confusion.

10. Try not to talk to your characters in public.
You will get funny looks on the tube.

Katy Birchall is the author of The It Girl series. The second book, The It Girl: Team Awkward is out on January 7 2016.

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