How to write


From the Guardian, Ten Rules for Writing Fiction starts off with Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules, and then lists 10 do’s and don’ts from another ten authors. Leonard’s are the most entertaining. Advising against using adverbs, he says ‘I have a character in one of my books tell how she used to write historical romances “full of rape and adverbs”. Annie Enright says “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.” I like Roddy Doyle’s advice about using a thesaurus:  “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, eg “horse”, “ran”, “said”.’

In fact, I like all of it. Anything that keeps me from actually writing for a bit longer.

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