"To write anything worth reading you have to put everything you have into every sentence. There can be no lazy thinking, no clichés, no borrowed tropes, no third-hand experience; there can be no hiding.” Miranda Darling
Posts tagged "tips for writers"
Look to nature

Look to nature

Writing fiction – especially during the early, inspiration-seeking moments – requires establishing your personal preconditions for creativity, and preparing to inhabit different states of being. Each element of the writing process has its own energy and it helps to recognise what stage you are at, and what you need to draw inspiration from to move...
One person trying to be three or four

One person trying to be three or four

Not many of my days are the same but the range they cycle through remains consistently varied. Let’s take a random sample, say, yesterday, and see what happened in 24 hours of my writing life… Weather: 15 degrees and torrential rain. Bondi Beach, Edge of the World. It hasn’t stopped raining for four days, the sort of water-sheets you only get...
The essential art of rewriting

The essential art of rewriting

I am always nervous about giving advice to aspiring novelists. My instinct is not to advise at all but to ask them, quite earnestly, if they are sure that this is what they want to do. If the answer is “I think so…” then I am tempted to steer them towards a different course. The...
Ten things about writing

Ten things about writing

Any writer is prey to the temptation to hand out writing advice at the least provocation, but I try to refrain most of the time. There is sufficient writing and publishing advice on the internet to equal even the cat photos and pornography. But here are ten things I believe about writing: things I tell...
Shakespeare's advice to writers? Use the pandemic (sometimes)

Shakespeare’s advice to writers? Use the pandemic (sometimes)

Shakespeare’s life was defined by the bubonic plague. What can we learn from the OG of pandemic writers? Make it count Today’s writers should deploy our pandemic’s memento mori – face masks, hand sanitiser, refrigerated morgue trucks – sparingly. Overuse lessens impact. Shakespeare knew this: he reserves images of miasmas (plague-spreading pockets of corrupted air)...
On finding your voice

On finding your voice

When I first started actively pursuing a writing career, I had a pretty good idea of what I was going to write: spare and beautiful books set in rural Ireland, miniature domestic tragedies with universal truths at their heart. Possibly there’d be a PWDP (Priest With Dark Past), or a WRAUA (Woman Returning After Unexplained...
Be creative

Be creative

Let’s say you would like to write a novel. You have a plot summary, gained over weeks, months, years, which has formed in your mind while you have been out walking, running, having a bath. The plot is simple and effective, and you can describe it in less than a minute. Your friends like your...
Richard Skinner: Getting going

Richard Skinner: Getting going

Richard Skinner is Director of the Fiction Programme at Faber Academy and a tutor on its six-month Writing a Novel course. Working across fiction, life writing, non-fiction and poetry, his latest book is Writing a Novel: Bring Your Ideas To Life The Faber Academy Way. I fire off some questions about the book, the course...
Step by step

Step by step

Hannah Vincent’s The Weaning is a gripping suspense novel about a psychotic childminder who finds herself the perfect job. But as Bobbi seeks to fill the baby-shaped hole in her life, events spiral out of control. Hannah worked as a childminder while she was writing the novel, and here are her tips for writing from...
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...