Tuesday, 12 April 2016
HOW-TO ....... be a better writer Linda Mitchelmore
There can be few of us who are so gifted we don't need advice and tips from those who have gone before. The very excellent publications, Writers' Forum, and Writing Magazine, come out monthly but after a year or so all areas of creative writing have been covered and keeping every single mag takes up so much cupboard space, doesn't it? So, I prefer books. Real books, printed on paper that I can dip in and out of easily and which sit on a shelf over my desk to remind me how far I've come. When I first dipped my toes in the creative writing pool, my cousin, David, in Canada sent me STARTING FROM SCRATCH by Rita Mae Brown. At that time Ms Brown wasn't a novelist but now is. She has a way with words and although I no longer have this book (loaned to someone whose name I now forget and who never returned it) two bits of advice I've never forgotten is to be a decent 'writing weight' much as a boxer has to be a certain weight (slightly underweight was her advice actually) and that a glass of wine could help the creative juices to flow. I never, ever, managed to crack the first bit of advice, but I'm pretty good at the second! I came late to Elizabeth Berg's novels but couldn't get enough of them. I wanted to write like her - not managed it yet! So, when I discovered she had written a How-to book, ESCAPING INTO THE OPEN: THE ART OF WRITING TRUE, I had to have it. It is quite wonderful. And if you don't know it, then buy one or borrow from the library. You will find out a lot about writing but also about yourself along the way.