Monday, 27 January 2014

Book Recommendations

When you've finished a book that you really enjoyed and you want to read something similar, it can be hard to find what you're looking for.

If you're in the UK, your library may have access to Who else Writes Like, but if you can't wait to get to your local library and want a recommendation now, my friend and writing buddy Jules Wake, has made this brilliant infographic.

I've found it really useful in finding new authors. Thanks Jules.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

VS Naipaul’s Advice for Writers

I found this useful advice for beginner writers on the India Uncut blog and thought I'd share it here.
VS Naipaul's Rules for Beginners

1.  Do not write long sentences. A sentence should not have more than ten or twelve words.

2.  Each sentence should make a clear statement. It should add to the statement that went before. A good paragraph is a series of clear, linked statements.

3.  Do not use big words. If your computer tells you that your average word is more than five letters long, there is something wrong. The use of small words compels you to think about what you are writing. Even difficult ideas can be broken down into small words.

4.  Never use words whose meaning you are not sure of. If you break this rule you should look for other work.

5.  The beginner should avoid using adjectives, except those of colour, size and number. Use as few adverbs as possible.

6.  Avoid the abstract. Always go for the concrete.

7.  Every day, for six months at least, practice writing in this way. Small words; short, clear, concrete sentences. It may be awkward, but it’s training you in the use of language. It may even be getting rid of the bad language habits you picked up at the university. You may go beyond these rules after you have thoroughly understood and mastered them.
I'll take rule #1 as more of a guideline, but I especially like rules #2 and #4.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year

“For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice.” — T.S. Eliot

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