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I Did Not Know That!

January 22nd, 2014

Here’s a little quiz for you:

1. What’s the bestselling novel of all time?

2. What happened to the original manuscript of John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’?

3. How long did Joseph Heller’s ‘Catch 22’ take to complete?

4. What was the original title of ‘Pride and Prejudice’?

5. What is the name of the monster in ‘Frankenstein’?

Answers below.

Did you enjoy that? I always love a good quiz, although I have to say, quizzes are not what they used to be. These days you don’t need to know the answers – you just Google them! But, really who cares, as long as you are learning something, right? Anyway, the point of this is to highlight that, with such a powerful research tool at your finger tips, the old saying ‘write about what you know’ is becoming less and less relevant. It should really be changed to ‘write about what you can research well’.

And, while this theory might only seem applicable to articles, it’s true of all writing really. For example, you want to write a novel about life in Australia in the 1900s. How are you going to ‘know’ about that unless you lived through it? The answer is, you probably won’t, so using the internet to research what life was like is the perfect starting point. Read this blog, by published author Jane Issac, about how she uses research to make her books more realistic.

And, speaking of novels, next week’s course of the week is Novel and Short Story Writing, so if you fancy getting some more help and £25 off the course fee, keep your eyes open for the special offer link in our emails.


1. Don Quixote, with over 500 million copies sold.

2. It was eaten by his dog, well at least that’s what he told his publisher – okay John we believe you, thousands wouldn’t!

3. Eight years.

4. First Impressions.

5. He doesn’t have one, although Mary Shelley did once refer to him as ‘Adam’, in a book reading.


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