Sunday, September 23, 2012

I came across an article in The Guardian called 10 Rules for Writing Fiction. In the article they have interviewed a variety of authors, asking them to share their ten rules for writing.

I have really enjoyed reading these and so I thought that I would share my favourites with you!

Elmore Leonard
Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue. The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But "said" is far less intrusive than "grumbled", "gasped", "cautioned", "lied". I once noticed Mary McCarthy ending a line of dialogue with "she asseverated" and had to stop reading and go to the dictionary.

Geoff Dyer
1 Never worry about the commercial possibilities of a project. That stuff is for agents and editors to fret over – or not. Conversation with my American publisher. Me: "I'm writing a book so boring, of such limited commercial appeal, that if you publish it, it will probably cost you your job." Publisher: "That's exactly what makes me want to stay in my job." 

AL Kennedy

7 Read. As much as you can. As deeply and widely and nourishingly and irritatingly as you can. And the good things will make you remember them, so you won't need to take notes. 
Margaret Atwood
8 You can never read your own book with the innocent anticipation that comes with that first delicious page of a new book, because you wrote the thing. You've been backstage. You've seen how the rabbits were smuggled into the hat. Therefore ask a reading friend or two to look at it before you give it to anyone in the publishing business. This friend should not be someone with whom you have a ­romantic relationship, unless you want to break up.

So there you have it! A tiny, ickle collection of awesome things some awesome writers have said. If you'd like to read more, please fly off to The Guardian and enjoy the wisdom!

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