Monday, 1 March 2010

Never open a book with weather - Advice for aspiring writers

Elmore Leonards' 10 Rules of writingElmore Leonard’s latest book entitled Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing is due for publication this month. Rule 1 is "Never open a book with weather", but his most important rule is one that sums up the 10: "if it sounds like writing, rewrite it". The Guardian newspaper asked some of the most esteemed contemporary authors for any golden rules they bring to their writing practice. Michael Morpurgo advises living a full and varied life so as to keep your well of ideas full. Joyce Carol Oates recommends keeping a light, hopeful heart but to expect the worst. Colm Toibin advocates staying in your mental pyjamas all day. Helen Dunmore says to reread, rewrite, reread, rewrite and if it still doesn't work, throw it away. In which case Margaret Atwood suggests that prayer might work. For further advice see

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