Monday, March 01, 2010

Ten for Tuesday

A recent article collected advice from published authors, some of it good, much of it funny. For your edification I present... Anne Enright!

1 The first 12 years are the worst.

2 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.

3 Only bad writers think that their work is really good.

4 Description is hard. Remember that all description is an opinion about the world. Find a place to stand.

5 Write whatever way you like. Fiction is made of words on a page; reality is made of something else. It doesn't matter how "real" your story is, or how "made up": what matters is its necessity.

6 Try to be accurate about stuff.

7 Imagine that you are dying. If you had a terminal disease would you ­finish this book? Why not? The thing that annoys this 10-weeks-to-live self is the thing that is wrong with the book. So change it. Stop arguing with yourself. Change it. See? Easy. And no one had to die.

8 You can also do all that with whiskey.

9 Have fun.

10 Remember, if you sit at your desk for 15 or 20 years, every day, not ­counting weekends, it changes you. It just does. It may not improve your temper, but it fixes something else. It makes you more free.

3 comments: said...

Writing can be so relaxing sometimes, to be able to pick words from the air, let them flow to paper then look back at your work and think . . . Yes.

Then other times when you can't find the words because they escape you and the phrases won't flow no matter how much you push and you realize the definition of frustration.


wngl said...

Yes, Don, writing can define frustration in so many ways; it can also be the source of deep satisfaction, which makes the whole enterprise worthwhile!

Jennifer said...

I have all of the top ten tips printed out from the Guardian article -- though many of them are conflicting, you can pick and choose. For example, I'm definitely not going to London.