One hundred ‘rules’ for writing fiction: 77-81

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Even more from my collection of ‘how to’ and ‘how not’ quotations from established authors, gathered from interviews and festival appearances over the years….

77.  It is important when developing an atmosphere to be consistent with the character’s preoccupatons. In a lot of ways, atmosphere is simply an extension of the character’s mood – a party that’s full of coloured lights for one character can be as dark as a funeral if seen through the eyes of another. (Helen Oyeyemi).

78. Finish each day before you begin the next, and interpose a solid wall of sleep between the two. This you cannot do without temperance. (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

79. Plan. Always think ahead one book – or two – into the future. Don’t panic yourself with a complete blank, without knowing what you’re going to do next. (Sophie Kinsella).

80.  Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style. (Kurt Vonnegut).

81. For me, writing the first draft and all the trillions of subsequent drafts, it’s all about getting to know the characters so you can  work out how they’re going to behave. Writing is about staying true to the characters, working with that to drive the plot forward. The biggest compliment I ever get is, ‘I stayed up until three in the morning reading your book!’ I want people to think, ‘Oh my god! What’s going to happen?’ It’s a very effective way to keep people turning the pages. (Charlotte Mendelson).

2 responses to “One hundred ‘rules’ for writing fiction: 77-81

  1. Great quotes. I shared via FB. Have a wonderful writing day.

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