One hundred ‘rules’ for writing fiction: 27-31








More thoughts, instructions and reflections on writing fiction which I’ve collated over the years from interviews, articles, and festival appearances:

27. Be truthful to yourself, the content of your mind and imagination, your thought processes,  and your ‘voice’. Write what you’d love to read, what intrigues and engages you, not what you think you should be writing. (KOR).

28.  The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator. (Jonathan Franzen).

29.  Have more humility. Remember you don’t know the limits of your own abilities. Successful or not, if you keep pushing beyond yourself, you will enrich your own life – and maybe even please a few strangers. (AL Kennedy).

30. If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to ­music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient. (Hilary Mantel).

31. The only end to writing is to enable the readers better to enjoy life, or better to endure it. (Samuel Johnson. A Free Enquiry, 1757).

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