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Writing — why and how

On the advice of My Helpful Friend, I've started checking out The Guardian Unlimited, a UK paper that has a Books section. A feature of this section is titled "Why I Write". In a series of interviews, various writers were asked that and other questions.

I noted particularly this advice from Maeve Binchey:

Q: What advice would you give to new writers?

A: Always write as if you are talking to someone. It works. Don't put on any fancy phrases or accents or things you wouldn't say in real life. Say someone cried — don't say: "tears coursed down her face". Take it nice and easy, don't try to impress.

I think that's pretty good advice. To give spec fic equal time, here's some of Philip Pullman's interview:

Q: What made you want to write when you were starting out?

A: The desire to have a story in which I liked everything and not just parts of it.

I can empathize with that! Probably a lot of writers can. You could also call us the ultimate control freaks. We own (and run) our own little worlds!

More Pullman:

Q: What good advice was given to you when you were starting out?

A: "Don't. You'll never make it. You'll never earn a living. Get a decent job and forget all about it. It's a silly idea. There's no future in it."

Q: What advice would you give to new writers?

A: "Don't. You'll never make it. You'll never earn a living. Get a decent job and forget all about it. It's a silly idea. There's no future in it."

Also good advice. But if writing is your dream, ignore it.

[p.s. in pursuit of my own dream, I am off to the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs, NY, so no blog entries for a few days,]


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