One hundred and fifty ‘rules’ for writing fiction: 102-105.

More tips, ‘rules’, reflections and pieces of advice from some of the contemporary great and good.

102. Finish the day’s writing when you still want to continue. (Helen Dunmore).

103. Beware of clichés. Not just the ­clichés that Martin Amis is at war with. There are clichés of response as well as expression. There are clichés of observation and of thought – even of conception. Many novels, even quite a few adequately written ones, are ­clichés of form which conform to clichés of expectation. (Geoff Dyer).

104.  Don’t look back until you’ve written an entire draft, just begin each day from the last sentence you wrote the preceeding day. This prevents those cringing feelings, and means that you have a substantial body of work before you get down to the real work which is all in the editing.  (Will Self).

105.   All writing is difficult. The most you can hope for is  a day when it goes reasonably easily. Plumbers don’t get plumber’s block, and doctors don’t get doctor’s block; why should writers have the only profession that gives a  special name to the difficulty of working, and then expect sympathy.
 (Philip Pullman).

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