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Carefully avoid adverbs and clichés like the plague

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Carefully avoid adverbs and clichés like the plague
Creative WritingDebates, Advice and Warnings
Creative Writing Debate : Worthwhile or Worthless?
HanifKureishi:“Creative writing courses are a waste of time.
Creative Writing Debate : Worthwhile or Worthless?
HanifKureishi:(he teaches Creative Writing at Kingston University!)“Creative writing courses are a waste of time.Alot of my students just can't tell a story…it's probably 99.9 per cent [of the students] who are not talented and the little bit that is left is talent.A lot of my students just can't tell a story. They can write sentences but they don't know how to make a story go from there all the way through to the end without people dying of boredom in between. It's a difficult thing to do and it's a great skill to have. Can you teach that? I don't think you can.”
Creative Writing Debate : Worthwhile or Worthless?
Will Self:Some people swear by creative writing courses. I say, go and get a job, a fairly menial one instead. Otherwise what are you going to write about? Writing is about expressing something new and exploring the form in new ways. So unless you want to churn out thrillers or misery memoirs, you can't work from a pattern book. You need to autodidact.
Creative Writing Debate : Worthwhile or Worthless?
Fay Weldon:…thereare no rules; you can't say "this is how you write a short story" or "this is how you structure a novel" because something good that doesn't follow that pattern will always come along to challenge that.
Writing Advice… I think.
Ernest Hemingway:“There is nothing to writing. All you do is just sit at a typewriter and bleed.”
Writing Advice… I think.
Anton Chekhov:“My own experience is that once a story has been written, one has to cross out the beginning and the end. It is there that we authors do most of our lying.”Thissounds more enigmatic than it really needs to. What word should replace “lying”?
Writing Advice… I think.
Jeanette Winterson:"My job is not to teach my Creative Writing students to write; my job is to explode language in their faces. To show them that writing is both bomb and bomb disposal – a necessary shattering ofclicheand assumption, and a powerful defusing of the soul-destroying messages of modern life (that nothing matters, nothing changes, money is everything,etc). Writing is a state of being as well as an act of doing. My job is to alter their relationship with language. The rest is up to them.”Is this more helpful?
Writing Advice… I think.
Zadie Smith“Resignyourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied.”Um… thanks, Zadie Smith…Who’s ready to become a writer!?
Writing Advice: Straight-forward
Toni Morrison:“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
Writing Advice: Straight-forward?
Kurt Vonnegut: no semicolonsStephen King: no adverbsColmTóibín: noflashbacks
Damn
Mark Twain:“Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very”; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”What’shis real advice here?
Elegant summary of narrative structure…
BillyWilder :“Inthe first act of a story you put your character up in a tree and the second act you set the tree on fire and then in the third you get him down.”
Writers’ Rules and AdviceforWriting
Elmore Leonard:Never open a book with weather.Avoid prologuesNever use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogueNever use an adverb to modify the verb "said" ... he admonished gravely.Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
Writers’ Rules and AdviceforWriting
HilaryMantel:Write a book you'd like to read. If you wouldn't read it, why would anybody else?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.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.
Writers’ Rules and AdviceforWriting
JonathanFranzen:Thereader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator.Themost purely autobiographical ­fiction requires pure invention. Nobody ever wrote a more auto­biographical story than "The Meta­morphosis".You see more sitting still than chasing after.
Writers’ Rules and AdviceforWriting
NeilGaiman:Remember: when people tell you something's wrong or doesn't work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.Laughat your ownjokesThemain rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you're allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it's definitely true for writing.)
Writers’ Rules and AdviceforWriting
MichaelMoorcock:Read. Read everything you can lay hands on. I always advise people who want to write a fantasy or science fiction or romance to stop reading everything in those genres and start reading everything else.Find an author you admire (mine was Conrad) and copy their plots and characters in order to tell your own story, just as people learn to draw and paint by copying the masters.Carrot and stick – have protagonists pursued (by an obsession or a villain) and pursuing (idea, object, person, mystery).
Writers’ Rules and AdviceforWriting
RoseTremain:Never be satisfied with a first draft. In fact, never be satisfied with your own stuff at all, until you're certain it's as good as your finite powers can ­enable it to be.Learn from cinema. Be economic with descriptions. Sort out the telling detail from the lifeless one. Write dialogue that people would actually speak.
Writers’ Rules and AdviceforWriting
SarahWaters:Respect your characters, even the ­minor ones. In art, as in life, everyone is the hero of their own particular story; it is worth thinking about what your minor characters' stories are, even though they may intersect only slightly with your protagonist's.
Writers’ Rules and AdviceforWriting
PhilipHensher:How can I create characters that are memorable and engaging? (Top tip – introduce them in small groups, and out of their customary context.) There doesn't seem to be enough happening – my characters just keep telling each other how they feel about each other, and then they have an affair or kill each other or have a baby. But then what?
Writers’ Rules and Advice for Writing
KathrynHughes:Just because you are trying to learn how to write, it doesn't mean that you need to employ an entirely new vocabulary. Be ruthless about cutting out any word that you wouldn't use naturally in everyday speech. In real life no one calls a book "a tome" or says "she descended the stairs" or refers to "my companion". A book is a book, people walk down the stairs and a companion is actually a friend, or a lover, or a colleague or someone you were standing next to at the bus stop. Be specific and be real.
Writers’ Rules and Advice for Writing
Stephen King:Anopening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.
Writers’ Rules and AdviceforWriting
MichaelMorpurgo:Theprerequisite for me is to keep my well of ideas full. This means living as full and varied a life as possible, to have my antennae out all the time.TedHughes gave me this advice and it works wonders: record moments, fleeting impressions, overheard dialogue, your ownsadnessesand bewilderments and joys.
Practical Advice
DianaAthill: Readit aloud to yourselfMargaret Atwood:Youneed a thesaurusWill Self: Alwayscarry a notebook. And I meanalways. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.Geoff Dyer:Havemore than one idea on the go at any one time. If it's a choice between writing a book and doing nothing I will always choose the latter. It's only if I have an idea for two books that I choose one rather than the other. I ­always have to feel that I'm bunking off fromsomething.Ian Rankin: Don’t give upMe:Have fun!

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Carefully avoid adverbs and clichés like the plague