Launch! Prince Arthur Hotel! September 5. 6:30. Cake and beverage. Meet the Authors.

Launch! Prince Arthur Hotel! September 5. 6:30. Cake and beverage. Meet the Authors.
Prize Winning Stories from NOWW

Friday, October 17, 2014

Good Writing Advice Contained in a Novel

Good writing advice can come from anywhere. What a fun surprise to find some neat tips tucked up inside a novel. So I pass them on here.

In the book, A Far Cry from Kensington, by the late great Muriel Spark, the protagonist, Nancy, works as an editor for a small London publishing house. 

Nancy: "Now it fell to me to give advice to many authors which in at least two cases bore fruit. So I will repeat it here free of charge. It proved helpful to the type of writer who has some imagination and wants to write a novel but doesn’t know how to start.


You are writing a letter to a friend,” was the sort of thing I used to say.” And this is a dear and close friend, real – or better invented. Write privately, not publically, without fear or timidity, right to the end of the letter, as if it were never going to be published, so that your true friend will read it over and over, and then want more enchanting letters from you. 

Now you are not writing about the relationship between your friend and yourself; you take that for granted. You are only confiding an experience that you think only he will enjoy reading. What you have to say will come out more spontaneously and honestly than if you are thinking of numerous readers.  

Before starting the letter, rehearse in your mind what you are going to tell; something interesting, your story.  But don’t rehearse too much, the story will develop as you go along, especially if you write to a special friend, man or woman, to make them smile or laugh or cry, or anything you like so long as you know it will interest, Remember not to think of the reading public, it will put you off."

Nancy claimed her method worked for short stories as well as novel. 

No comments:

Post a Comment