Writing Tips @ the Guardian

Discussion in 'Writing' started by keatskeatskeats, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. keatskeatskeats

    keatskeatskeats bcitsndslkSKEETSKEETSKEET

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    some of this is interesting, some of it is fodder (as with all lists I suppose)

    part one: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/20/ten-rules-for-writing-fiction-part-one

    part two: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/20/10-rules-for-writing-fiction-part-two

     
  2. DailyRich

    DailyRich Damn fool idealist

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    "Good ideas are often murdered by better ones." -- Roddy Doyle

    That's a winner right there.
     
  3. Laer Carroll

    Laer Carroll LaerCarroll.com

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    When I became serious about writing I began a comprehensive study program that over a couple of years amounted to a micro-MFA in literature and creative writing. I also wrote much, reasoning that a writer writes. I ended up with five rules that over-rule all the others.
    _______________
    Savor life.

    Write what you love.

    Write often.

    Trim.

    Send it out.
    _______________
    If there is one rule that rules them all, it is the first - Savor life. Our experiences are the cloth and thread and buttons and trim of our profession.

    This includes us or people we know who have shown rare moments of true nobility, the most treasured parts of our lives, the most primal/pleasurable experiences.

    And it especially includes our bad experiences: the most shameful things we've done, experiences which sometimes still give us nightmares, the parts of ourselves that are our bitterest/crudest/most selfish/etc.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
  4. Nostra

    Nostra Amatuer Writer

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  5. gh0ti

    gh0ti Registered User

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    It's actually quite brilliant how contradictory the advice given by those authors is:

    Geoff Dyer: "If something is proving too difficult, give up and do something else."

    Neil Gaiman: "Finish what you're writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it."

    And curious that Michael Moorcock is essentially encouraging fanfiction - "Find an author you admire (mine was Conrad) and copy their plots and characters in order to tell your own story" - given the hostility some authors have towards it - GRRM for one.

    I find it more reassuring than frustrating that nobody can agree on what makes a good novelist.
     
  6. Laer Carroll

    Laer Carroll LaerCarroll.com

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    Actually the Globe writer is cherry-picking the contradictions - there is much more agreement in the pieces of advice. Some of the "contradictions" aren't - the Globe writer misunderstood.

    And he quotes the tired cliche that readership is constantly diminishing - a comfortingly paranoid idea that seems to have been around for decades. In fact readership - at least in the US - has been slowly increasing for a long time. And the recent economic hard times have not hurt readership at all - quite the reverse.

    Readers may have changed the tone of the books they buy - and the movies they see - toward more escapist fare, perhaps. But books and movies are great comforters in hard times, and those who consume them are not about to give them up.
     
  7. gh0ti

    gh0ti Registered User

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    I didn't read the Globe article. There is a lot of agreement among the ones on the Guardian, but they're mainly basic stuff like "read a lot of books"...