"I’ve read some stories where it’s difficult to tell where the story stops and I begin. Those are the best stories."—TBV
a cozy reading nook.
Author series by Ryan Sheffield. 1. Women authors
If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.
– Haruki Murakami
The Old Butcher’s Bookshop, Paris
Happy Birthday, Howard Jacobson, born 25 August 1942
- You begin by reading reading reading. Read good writing. Don’t write about your life, but start with what you know about. That doesn’t mean it’s you; you might know something else.
- Novels began as a comic form and should remain as a comic form.
- One of the reasons there seem to be fewer readers for literature today than there were yesterday is that the concept of failure has been outlawed. If we are all beautiful, all clever, all happy, all successes in our way, what do we want with the language of the dispossessed?
- The politics of youth are, by definition, the politics of ignorance.
- There was no child. Children spoilt the story.
- How do you explain to somebody who doesn’t understand that you don’t build a library to read. A library is a resource. Something you go to, for reference, as and when. But also something you simply look at, because it gives you succour, answers to some idea of who you are or, more to the point, who you would like to be, who you will be once you own every book you need to own.
- Novelists are drawn to failure. Those who prosper in the world as it is have no need to re-imagine it.
- Read other writers but don’t be other writers. Don’t be cowed by all the great writers that you like.
- Remember that it’s your job as a writer, if you see any sign of ideology in you, to kill it. Writing is not the expression of your belief system. What you believe is of no interest to anybody. Almost what anybody believes is of no interest to anybody.
- Remember how superior art is to belief. And away you go!
Jacobson is a British author and journalist. He won the Man Booker Prize for The Finkler Question. He is best known for writing comic novels with British Jewish characters at their centre.
Source for Image
Sleeping Porch, Flathead Lake, Montana
photo via lauren
Happy Birthday, Peter James, 22 August 1948
Seven Writing Tips
- Read. Read. Read. Read books that have done well in the genre you want to write in.
- I have this holy trinity of writing which consists of Character, Research, and Plot.
- Structure is important. Know your ending before you start writing. You wouldn’t just get into a car and drive without knowing where you’re going. Know your most important plot points. This does not mean that things won’t change, but you will never get stuck.
- Writer’s Block doesn’t exist. If you have a plot with a proper outline you will never get Writer’s Block.
- Once you start writing a book, make time to write every single day. Find a comfortable number of words for you to write each day and stick to that number. I am comfortable with 1000 words.
- Love your characters. Even your villains. And the way to make a villain lovable is to give him something to love.
- And one from Graham Greene: ‘Every writer has to carry a chip of ice in their heart.’
James is the British best-selling author of the Detective Roy Grace novels. He has sold more than 14 million novels.