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Ten rules for writing fiction

These days they prefer vans.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, this piece (and the second instalment) from The Guardian about the rules of writing fiction is definitely worth a read. Highlights include Geoff Dyer (“Don’t be one of those writers who sentence themselves to a lifetime of sucking up to Nabokov”), Anne Enright (“Only bad writers think that their work is really good”) and Jonathan Franzen (“Interesting verbs are seldom very interesting”).

Which reminds me of rule number one of writing blogs, which is – as with novels –actually write them. To which end I’ll definitely get something up later today. Or tomorrow. Or soon, anyway.

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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. yeah. that concept “just write it” is a killer.

    February 22, 2010
  2. Only the title is a misnomer – it’s more like 290 tips on writing by the time you get to the end of Part 2.
    Loved Colm Toibin’s (and I haven’t read them all, I just cut to the people I love):

    9 No going to London.

    10 No going anywhere else either.

    February 22, 2010
  3. Nice collection of lists of rules. I’m particularly fond of Rose Tremain’s rule “Never begin the book when you feel you want to begin it, but hold off a while longer.” Though, now I think about it, it’s also potentially very dangerous. One of the best pieces of writing advice I’ve ever received is “Compare yourself to no one”. The other is “genius is 20% talent and 80% fucking hard work”.

    February 23, 2010
  4. Haha, I need to follow your lead and just WRITE! Instead, reading the article made me want to post my own list of writing rules. 🙂

    Anything to procrastinate the actual writing, eh?

    February 23, 2010

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