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on 13 December 2012
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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on 14 February 2013
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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on 1 December 2013
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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on 24 July 2015
I originally borrowed this book from the library, but found it so fun, useful and inspirational, that i had to buy my own secondhand copy in order to highlight quote and scribble in margins! I love this book.
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on 19 December 2014
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on 24 April 2014
good book with lots of good tips. But what is Phil Daoust doing editing this book? Ok, so he gave Tim Minchin a bad review when he was young, and clearly was wrong..and probably didn't deserve the song..but if he had redeemed himself as a grown-up by writing something decent, and on Minchin's artistic level, then fair enough. But last time I saw him he was writing a column in the Guardian about how to make Italian pasta...really? Is he Italian? A chef? A Michelin-starred chef? Or I think the last column was a piss-poor, cliché-ridden piece of nonsense about lettuce..really? Is that your life's work? One begins to think Mr Minchin was right....
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on 9 December 2012
Pfffff. I'd prefer to listen to a Tim Minchin song than read through this. Unfair? Nah, all is fair is in reviews.
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