Yes! No! But Wait…!

Tim Lott

At the heart of writing – at the apex of storytelling – there is only one principle, and it winds like a golden thread across all the books and courses.

But it gets lost in the ever-spreading panoply of detail that the creative writing industry relies on to keep its wheels turning.

This book pulls out that thread, polishes it and reveals the way it penetrates storytelling.

It will be invaluable to anyone creating fictional worlds – but most particularly to novelists, who are most in danger of forgetting it. Or not noticing it in the first place.

Tim Lott knows he can’t teach anyone to write a novel (that’s one of the lies propagated by the novel-writing industry).

But he can teach someone how to build a firm platform on which they can stand in order to explore whether they have the talent, will and determination that writing a novel takes.


ISBN: 9781800752214

Published: June 1, 2023


ISBN: 9781800752221

Published: June 1, 2023


Reviews for Yes! No! But Wait…!

‘Tim Lott is one of the few novelists who truly understands story structure’ – John Yorke, author of Into the Woods

‘Tim Lott has long experience of the practice of writing fiction as well as a deep knowledge the theory of story craft – a rare yet essential combination’ – Will Storr, author of The Science of Storytelling

‘Shaping a novel chapter by chapter requires complex psychological insight. Tim Lott possesses that insight’ – Robert McKee, author of Story


Tim Lott

Tim Lott is the author of seven novels and a memoir, The Scent of Dried Roses, which won the PEN/J.R. Ackerley Prize. White City Blue won the Whitbread First Novel Award and his young adult book Fearless was shortlisted for the Guardian Children’s Book Award. Tim lives with his family in north-west London. Visit his website