"What has Hector ever done to me?" - Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
- Me:*slams book closed dramatically* DONE!
- Mom:Didn't you start that book earlier today?
- Mom:And you just finished the whole thing?
- Me:Well, on to the next book!
1 Are you serious about this? Then get an accountant.
2 Read Becoming a Writer, by Dorothea Brande. Then do what it says, including the tasks you think are impossible. You will particularly hate the advice to write first thing in the morning, but if you can manage it, it might well be the best thing you ever do for yourself. This book is about becoming a writer from the inside out. Many later advice manuals derive from it. You don’t really need any others, though if you want to boost your confidence, “how to” books seldom do any harm. You can kick-start a whole book with some little writing exercise.
3 Write a book you’d like to read. If you wouldn’t read it, why would anybody else? Don’t write for a perceived audience or market. It may well have vanished by the time your book’s ready.
4 If you have a good story idea, don’t assume it must form a prose narrative. It may work better as a play, a screenplay or a poem. Be flexible.
5 Be aware that anything that appears before “Chapter One” may be skipped. Don’t put your vital clue there.
6 First paragraphs can often be struck out. Are you performing a haka, or just shuffling your feet?
7 Concentrate your narrative energy on the point of change. This is especially important for historical fiction. When your character is new to a place, or things alter around them, that’s the point to step back and fill in the details of their world. People don’t notice their everyday surroundings and daily routine, so when writers describe them it can sound as if they’re trying too hard to instruct the reader.
8 Description must work for its place. It can’t be simply ornamental. It usually works best if it has a human element; it is more effective if it comes from an implied viewpoint, rather than from the eye of God. If description is coloured by the viewpoint of the character who is doing the noticing, it becomes, in effect, part of character definition and part of the action.
9 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.
10 Be ready for anything. Each new story has different demands and may throw up reasons to break these and all other rules. Except number one: you can’t give your soul to literature if you’re thinking about income tax.
Hilary Mantel is my new Writing Hero, it must be said. Read something of hers, and just marvel at what a freaking MASTER she is.
"Concentrate your narrative energy on the point of change" is my new Holy Grail.
In the deep trenches of book blogging, where opinions fly faster than daggers and waiting for sequels drives book-lovers insane, there appeared a new group. Headed by their crazy leader bookphile (who insisted on calling herself Supreme Overlord), these amazing book bloggers bravely took up the name Bookphiles. Here are the books these intrepid soldiers think you should all read on All Hallows Day. Be brave, read on, never forget the page number.
-Supreme Overlord, Bookphile.
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
Det här var en bok som verkligen fick mig att både gråta och skratta. Jag har nog sällan läst en bok som ena stunden får en att skratta för att på nästa sida få en att börja gråta.
Boken finns översatt på svenska och heter då förr eller senare exploderar jag.
Den är verkligen värd att läsa och är väldigt händelserik och gripande. Jag gillar inte att läsa så sorgliga böcker som den här vanligtvis. Men jag gjorde ett undantag eftersom så många sagt så mycket bra om den här boken. Och gud vilken läsupplevelse. Jag tänker inte säga för mycket om boken, men det är verkligen en bok som jag rekommenderar att man läser.
Jag kommer att läsa om boken längre fram i tiden, när den fortfarande inte är så färsk i mitt minne.
läst på engelska.