Rabu, 21 November 2007

What advice would you give to new writers?

 

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What advice would you give to new writers?

David Mitchell

On a Post-It note by my laptop is something Tom Stoppard said on the radio a few years ago: "It's all about people, Stupid!" (I don't think he added the "Stupid": that's there for my own benefit.) A maximum of one killer metaphor or simile per page should be ample, and watch out for the word "seem": it debases one's own currency, somehow. Think about how the writers who you love manage to make you love them. Prose that contains too many sentences beginning with the word "I" soon gets as tedious as people who begin too many sentences with the word "I".

Louis de Bernieres

Don't be at all hesitant to exaggerate and tell lies. People get trapped by stories which usually happened to themselves or to people they know, and they feel obliged to tell the truth. To tell it as it was. But the important thing is to know how to change the truth to make it a better story.

Beryl Bainbridge

I don't think you should ever try to make things up. We all lead such strange lives that there is no need to. Use your own experiences and then twist it a bit. You should read what you have written out loud. I write a paragraph at a time and I walk up and down reading it out loud. It has to go te tum te dum te tum te dum. If it doesn't, then there's a word wrong. It hasn't got rhythm, so I re-write it.

Phillip Pullman

"Don't. You'll never make it. You'll never earn a living. Get a decent job and forget all about it. It's a silly idea. There's no future in it."

Maeve Binchy

Always write as if you are talking to someone. It works. Don't put on any fancy phrases or accents or things you wouldn't say in real life. Say someone cried - don't say: "tears coursed down her face". Take it nice and easy, don't try to impress.

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