One hundred and fifty ‘rules’ for writing fiction: 145 – 150









Further words on writing fiction gleaned from interviews, and articles, by the award winners and published…

145).  Be ready for anything. Each new story has different demands and may throw up reasons to break [the] rules. Except number one: you can’t give your soul to literature if you’re thinking about income tax.   (Hilary Mantel)

146).  Finish everything you start. Get on with it. Stay in your mental pyjamas all day. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. No alcohol, sex, or drugs while you are working.  (Colm Tóibín)

147).  Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand – but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never being satisfied.  (Zadie Smith)

148).  Trust your creativity. Enjoy this work!  (Jeanette Winterson)

149).  Talent trumps all. If you’re a ­really great writer, none of these rules need apply. If James Baldwin had felt the need to whip up the pace a bit, he could never have achieved the extended lyrical intensity of Giovanni’s Room. Without “overwritten” prose, we would have none of the linguistic exuberance of a Dickens or an Angela Carter. If everyone was economical with their characters, there would be no Wolf Hall . . . For the rest of us, however, rules remain important. And, ­crucially, only by understanding what they’re for and how they work can you begin to experiment with breaking them.  (Sarah Waters)

and if indeed this is the end of this long running and much loved series, I have to draw a conclusion with:

150).  Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.  (Samuel Beckett)

I hope you enjoyed.

Kaite x

2 responses to “One hundred and fifty ‘rules’ for writing fiction: 145 – 150

  1. Thank you for all of these.

  2. Thanks. It’s so kind of you to comment and it’s really appreciated.
    I’ve been surprised by the amount of emails I’ve had about the ‘end’ of this series…. but i have others in mind, so please watch this space…

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