Saturday, 20 February 2010

Good writing advice

The internet is full of writing advice. Much of it is nonsensical, overly-opinionated, and overly-prescriptive bollocks, live, "always use active verbs" and "never begin a sentence with a gerund". So how about some writing advice from, you know, actual writers as opposed to some twat with a computer, an opinion, and an internet connection?

Thankyou, The Guardian, for bringing us Ten Rules for Writing Fiction, a collection of words of wisdom from people who actually write for a living.

Personal favourites:

"Don't sit down in the middle of the woods. If you're lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the other road. And/or change the person. Change the tense. Change the opening page." (Margaret Attwood)

"Finish the day's writing when you still want to continue." (Helen Dunmore)

"The way to write a book is to actually write a book. A pen is useful, typing is also good. Keep putting words on the page." (Anne Enright)

"Don't be one of those writers who sentence themselves to a lifetime of sucking up to Nabokov." (Geoff Dyer)

And, truest of all...

"Only bad writers think that their work is really good." (Anne Enright).

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