Not everyone will have cottoned onto the wonderful writing series recently published across about ten days in UK’s The Guardian.
It was a little while ago now, but is still well worth checking out. It kicked off with Geoff Dyer (Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi , 2009) on freedom. In it he quotes the controversial words of the playwright David Hare: ‘The two most depressing words in the English language are ‘literary fiction’”. Dyer himself goes on to say literary fiction isn’t a standard to be aspired to – and likens it to a comfy old sofa writers and readers can collapse into.
The rest of the series covers authors on such topics as point of view, dialogue, suspense, plot and that all important thing … redrafting.
Reading about writing
It is constantly recommended that, if you want to be on top of your writing you must read. I find it quite extraordinary that this obvious truth needs to be stated at all – let alone so often repeated as essential advice for those of us with writing ambitions – but it’s true! Examine advice from any great writer, and pretty soon you’ll come across this so-important advice. Want to be a writer? Then read, read, read. Only if you happen to be Madonna can you afford not to bother reading. And if you can’t be bothered reading, really, you have no right to write.
And then, on top of it all, remember also to read about writing.
So why not get stuck into these great articles? I recommend starting with Dyer’s article and working your way through by following The Guardian’s links on the right side column.
Here’s the link to Dyer’s article: The Guardian: How to write fiction.
About Steven O’Connor
I’m currently working hard to get complete my second novel, A young adult near-future thriller about virtual reality video games.