We share Irish novelist, Roddy Doyle’s 10 Rules For Writing.
He is perhaps the novelist most closely identified with the emergence of Ireland as a modern European nation. According to Britannica, he is ‘known for his unvarnished depiction of the working class in Ireland. Doyle’s distinctively Irish settings, style, mood, and phrasing made him a favourite fiction writer in his own country as well as overseas.’
He won the Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke ha ha ha. His children’s book A Greyhound of a Girl was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal in 2013.
Roddy Doyle’s 10 Rules For Writing
- Do not place a photograph of your favourite author on your desk, especially if the author is one of the famous ones who committed suicide.
- Do be kind to yourself. Fill pages as quickly as possible; double space, or write on every second line. Regard every new page as a small triumph –
- Until you get to Page 50. Then calm down, and start worrying about the quality. Do feel anxiety – it’s the job.
- Do give the work a name as quickly as possible. Own it, and see it. Dickens knew Bleak House was going to be called Bleak House before he started writing it. The rest must have been easy.
- Do restrict your browsing to a few websites a day. Don’t go near the online bookies – unless it’s research.
- Do keep a thesaurus, but in the shed at the back of the garden or behind the fridge, somewhere that demands travel or effort. Chances are the words that come into your head will do fine, eg ‘horse’, ‘ran’, ‘said’.
- Do, occasionally, give in to temptation. Wash the kitchen floor, hang out the washing. It’s research.
- Do change your mind. Good ideas are often murdered by better ones. I was working on a novel about a band called The Partitions. Then I decided to call them The Commitments.
- Do not search amazon.co.uk for the book you haven’t written yet.
- Do spend a few minutes a day working on the cover biog – ‘He divides his time between Kabul and Tierra del Fuego.’ But then get back to work.
Source for Image and Rules: The Guardian
If you enjoyed this, you will love:
- Esther Freud’s 7 Rules For Writing
- Janet Evanovich’s 12 Tips For Writing A Query Letter
- Sebastian Faulks On Finding Excuses Not To Write
- Anne Lamott On Life And Writing
- 6 Writing Tips From Bernard Cornwell
- Writing Advice From The World’s Most Famous Authors
TIP: If you want help writing a book, buy The Novel Writing Exercises Workbook.