"In my experience of writing – and of life – the frenzy of dreams and that of form always go together." Iosi Havilio
Posts tagged "tips for writers"
Best intentions

Best intentions

S.V. Berlin’s debut novel The Favourite is a compelling story about rivalries and secrets as siblings Edward and Isobel are thrown together after a long absence by the death of their mother and the need to sort through the family home. She shares her tips for realising your writing ambitions.   1. Read, read, read...
Watertight rules

Watertight rules

The hardback edition of James Swallow’s latest novel Nomad was a Sunday Times bestseller last summer. It’s a gripping spy thriller for the post-WikiLeaks world, in which private military contractors, agile terror cells and corporations wield as much power as national intelligence agencies. On the release of the paperback, he shares some words of advice...
Getting started

Getting started

Brit Bennett has just embarked on an exhaustive 15-city US tour to promote her dazzling debut novel The Mothers. Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, it’s an emotionally perceptive story about community, love and ambition. She takes a moment to share some rules about choosing what to write and how to go...
Be a writer

Be a writer

In Ancient Egypt, or at least in the New Kingdom, writing was taught in scribal schools. Young boys (there is little evidence for girls’ schooling) were taught to read and write by dictation and by copying existing texts. Various compositions, of different genres and from different periods, were deemed suitable for teaching purposes. Classics of...
DBC Pierre: The energising struggle

DBC Pierre: The energising struggle

DBC Pierre is already at the appointed bar when I arrive 15 minutes early for our interview. He’s smoking and chatting outside and I worry about how to interrupt him but he’s as courteous as he is convivial. We have met once before – I used to work in a bookshop in a train station...
Keep the passion

Keep the passion

Marking the relaunch of The Sunday Times/Peters Fraser & Dunlop Young Writers of the Year Award, five past winners share their tips and hints for writers still seeking their first break. Andrew Cowan 1. There’s no point in advising you to read because you wouldn’t be a writer unless you were already a reader, would...
Joy, not fear

Joy, not fear

Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies, longlisted for the National Book Award, is a subtly subversive novel in two halves about impetuous college sweethearts who marry young and learn valuable lessons across three decades about love, art, creativity and power. She shares some hints about keeping the creative urge in check.   1. The blank page...
Risk and persist

Risk and persist

Umi Sinha’s debut novel Belonging is a beautifully crafted epic of love and loss, ethnicity and homeland, telling the interwoven story of three generations from the darkest days of the British Raj in India to the aftermath of the First World War in rural Sussex. Here are some tips and hints she gleaned from completing the novel, and...
53 ways to improve your short stories

53 ways to improve your short stories

The author of We Don’t Know What We’re Doing has thought quite a bit about how best to approach writing short fiction. We asked him to compile a list of do’s and don’ts and suggested reading that might help practitioners at any stage of their craft. 1. Read Flannery O’Connor. Now. 2. All characters think...
Brevity

Brevity

Benjamin Johncock’s debut novel The Last Pilot is a gritty tale about a US Air Force test pilot who is set to become one of the world’s first astronauts until a crisis in his young family forces him to face the earthbound challenges of fatherhood. His taut, spare prose has been compared with Raymond Carver,...