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Write Hardcover – 27 Sep 2012

3.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Guardian Books (27 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 085265328X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0852653289
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 2.1 x 18.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 503,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Book Description

Advice, inspiration and celebration for all new writers, by the world's greatest contemporary authors


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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I’ve been slowly reading this book over nearly a year. It’s compiled of writing advice from a ton of amazing authors, and I’ve been picking it up before a writing session and reading a different bit of advice each time, just to encourage myself and get the creative juices flowing.

I especially enjoyed the first section, where authors give their tips for writing, my favourite being Neil Gaiman’s very direct advice – it’s one I might print out and stick to my desk so I can reread it whenever I’m feeling stuck or uninspired.

The second half of the book had authors talking about writing their books and getting them published. I loved Sue Townsend’s essay about writing Adrian Mole: when she was asked to send a synopsis, she didn’t know what to write and sent a school report for Adrian Mole instead, and got her book deal off the strength of that. I didn’t find this section quite as interesting, mostly because I didn’t know a lot of the authors or their books: they’re probably quite famous ones, but I mostly read YA and so wasn’t really familiar with them. It was still great to read about their inspiration and publication journeys though.

This is a great book to read for aspiring writers, especially when you’re feeling uninspired or need that extra bit of motivation.
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Format: Hardcover
An excellent book packed with great advice by a host of great authors (authors who, crucially, write in a wide range of styles and genres). There's a fantastic set of 'top ten tips' from the likes of Hilary Mantel, Will Self, Roddy Doyle and Michael Moorcock (which aren't po-faced - they're fun to read in their own right), lots of essays on the craft (each covering a different aspect) by writers as various as DBC Pierre (on dialogue), Kate Mosse (on plot) and MJ Hyland (on revising and rewriting), and, perhaps my favourite section, a fascinating set of essays collected under the title 'How I Wrote...', in which authors describe the trials, tribulations and triumphs they went through while working on a particular novel (Martin Amis discusses the writing of Time's Arrow, and, amongst others, there's Sue Townsend on The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 1/4, AS Byatt on Possession, Charles Frazier on Cold Mountain, Terry Pratchett on Unseen Academicals). This is a wonderful little book, equal parts instructive and entertaining.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A series of essays by some people who know how to write and how to teach, on topics such as dialogue, description, character. I've enjoyed several of these twice over and they have already helped me improve my writing.So thank you Jill Dawson, Andrew Miller, Meg Rosoff, D B C Pierre, Adam Foulds, Kate Mosse, Mark Billingham and M J Hyland.

After the essays there is a section entitled 'My Rules: do's and dont's from the greats' which I thought less helpful - most of it rather jokey and not much use - e.g. 'the way to write a book is to actually write a book.'(Thankyou, I knew that already). 'Prayer might help. Or reading something else...' Well, all right, some of these pieces are quite wise and funny - but I probably won't read them again.

But I repeat: the first part of the book is brilliant.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first encountered this joy of a book when I attended a talk on a cold, snowy day at the Oxford Literary Festival in March last year. A couple of students from the Oxford Brookes MA Creative Writing course were using Meg Rosoff’s article on Voice as a basis for their discussion with her. I went home and bought the book, and have been dipping into it every since.

I’m not a huge fan of the often ubiquitous How to Write books that line the shelves of many a bookshop or public library. One of the few that I would give house room to and recommend gladly is the excellent (and original) The Way to Write by John Fairfax and John Moat.

Write is not a how to write book but a collection of essays, articles and top tips from a huge breadth of writers that will have you nodding in agreement or shaking your head with disbelief (but mostly the former). It is interesting both for readers, as an insight into their favourite writers, and as inspiration to anyone who is a writer.

Read it, keep it close to you, and refer to it often as gentle reminder as to why we are drawn to do what we must do.
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