For the longest time there’s been this glut of writing advice.
25 tips to be a great fantasy author. 10 things to make you an ebook bestseller. What every author should know.
That kind of thing.
Maybe it’s the rebel child in me, or perhaps I’m just up myself, but I’m a little tired of being told all the things I must do. So I’m not going to tell anyone how to write.
Actually, I’m not sure I’d know where to start.
And anyway, my all-time favourite response to the Advice on Writing question was given by Margaret Atwood in an interview with The Guardian, when she wrote:
“1. Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can’t sharpen it on the plane, because you can’t take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils.
2. If both pencils break, you can do a rough sharpening job with a nail file of the metal or glass type.
3. Take something to write on. Paper is good. In a pinch, pieces of wood or your arm will do.”
It’s sound advice.
And there’s really nothing I can add to it: I use a pencil myself. And a variety of notebooks and scraps of paper and envelope. My hand, upon occasion–which doesn’t work so well with pencil, so a pen or marker is better for that.
Obviously, it helps if you have a good story and some credible characters and a copy of the Oxford Dictionary of Punctuation and Grammar and maybe a thesaurus and dictionary as well.
But beyond that…well, that’s about it, really.