In this humble offering before the next longer post, author Anne Enright, who was named the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction, won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction for her novel, The Forgotten Waltz, and won the Man Booker Prize for her novel, The Gathering, shares ten writing tips gleaned from her fiction writing career.
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
~ Anne Enright, quoted from an interview in The Guardian. Photography by Amelia Stein. Read more on Anne Enright here.
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Roddy Doyle’s Ten Rules for Writing Fiction, Neil Gaiman’s 8 Finest Writing Tips, 10 Fiction Writing Tips by Helen Dunmore, Henry Miller’s 11 Tips to Writing Well, 10 Quick Tips for Writing Fiction By Andrew Motion, A. L. Kennedy’s 10 Rules for Writing, and these 10 Brilliant Tips for Writing Fiction Inspired by Famous Authors.
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