Over on the Guardian website, they’ve recently published a two-part article called ‘Ten rules for writing fiction’, which makes for pretty interesting reading. Part one is here, and part two is here, though reading them in order is probably best.
As I say, I think there’s a lot of useful advice in there, though some of it doesn’t apply to all genres or whatever (I don’t suffer from adverb-phobia, for example), though it’s not without flaws; unfortunately one author seems to have rather forgotten the brief and veered towards details of how he writes, whilst another rather impractically suggests “When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books” – fine advice in itself, but I’d guess most Guardian readers are likely to feel it’s too late to do that if they didn’t at the time.
And for the few children who read the newspaper, it’s preaching to the converted.
Childish and envious snarking aside, it’s nonetheless worth a look, as one of the recurrent messages is the always unwelcome but equally true reminder that you actually have to get on with the writing part, until the story’s finished.
Yes, yes, I know: I was hoping there’d be a magic short-cut revealed as well.