Silja Swaby, half Jamaican, half Finnish, is a marine biologist and author. Funded by Arts Council England, she has won competitions, and been placed in prizes and awards. She is working on a series of futuristic thrillers, featuring a female biologist whose quiet academic life takes a drastic turn. Silja has taken creative writing courses at Cambridge University and more recently Yale University, USA.

Silja tutors writers, gives workshops, and provides a critique service. She is happily unmarried and lives in deepest Somerset, UK.

Silja Swaby is pronounced Sil-yah Sway-bee.

July 07, 2010

A new beginning

The start of a novel is a very tricky place. It has a lot to do and your reader is not fully on board yet. Get it wrong and they jump off at the first stop. Get it right and they don't know they are at the final stop until the announcement. Read everything you can on beginnings and experiment with your own work. Cutting is a good place to start. The jury is out on prologues. Have one if it's absolutely necessary but otherwise it's a big NO.

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