Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Good Advice for wannabe Writers

I so admire good writing, for after all, it's the stuff that good books are made of. In my recent Shelf Awareness (Daily Enlightenment for the Book Trade), I came across the information below and thought I would share it with you.

Inspired by Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing, the Guardian asked authors to share their personal rules for writing fiction.

Here's a sampling of the responses they received:

Margaret Atwood: "You most likely need a thesaurus, a rudimentary grammar book, and a grip on reality."

Roddy Doyle: "Do keep a thesaurus, but in the shed at the back of the garden or behind the fridge, somewhere that demands travel or effort. Chances are the words that come into your head will do fine, e.g. 'horse,' 'ran,' 'said.' "

Geoff Dyer: "Have regrets. They are fuel. On the page they flare into desire."

Anne Enright: "The first 12 years are the worst."

Richard Ford: "Marry somebody you love and who thinks you being a writer's a good idea."

Jonathan Franzen: "When information becomes free and universally accessible, voluminous research for a novel is devalued along with it."

Neil Gaiman: (my favorite response) "Remember: when people tell you something's wrong or doesn't work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong."

Jeanette Winterson: "Enjoy this work!"

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