At times, some of my
personality traits can find their way into the characters I create. These
traits can often become exaggerated, skewed even. Tom Stacey is an example of
this, the central character in my novel A
. With Tom, my natural curiosity of people has transformed
into his obsessive and unusual search for the ideal partner. And my self-doubt
has transformed into his deep-rooted insecurities. But before anyone gets too
excited, I’d just like to point out that, unlike Tom, I have never borrowed a
neighbour’s bed-sit without asking and I do not hear an imaginary buzzing
whenever I feel I am losing control of a situation. Some of Tom’s qualities are
completely his own, like his love of research and his fixation on ordered
steps. So in honour of Tom’s qualities and bearing in mind his love of lists,
here are a number of tips which might be of some use to budding writers out
1. The blank page is not a writer’s greatest
I can think of much greater enemies than a blank page for a writer, a
child bouncing a football against the exterior wall of your office,
coffee poisoning, working on a chair which is insultingly
lacking in lumbar support.
Try to think of a blank page as a challenge. Or if you are not competitively
driven, think of it as an opportunity.
2. There is more than one way to write
Good writing is good writing, regardless of how it came about. So plot
ahead. Or don’t plot. Write it while lying on your back. Wear a crash helmet
when working on the dialogue. It’s your book. Create it whatever way you like
and learn what works best for you. Not all writers create in the same way.
be afraid to break the rules.
But importantly, ensure that you understand what the rules are first. There are
only so many times you can be ‘accidentally brilliant’ before someone begins to
not endorse locution that you don’t perfectly tolerate.
…sorry, what I meant to say was…
Do not use words you don’t fully understand.
5. You do NOT need to own a cat to be a
to read your work back aloud and listen to the rhythm.
Aim for intricate musical arrangement, not steady dripping tap.
is key to your work.
It is time-consuming and hard work but I have a little rhyme that might help.
Editing might take a lot of time,
And it means reading your work over and over
But it will make a lot of…
Actually, there is no rhyme that will help. Just edit your work
8. Read the best writers in your field.
as much as you can, whenever and wherever.
I can’t speak
for all other writers but if I go a couple of days without writing I feel the
loss, incomplete in some ways, an artist without a muse, a driver without a
car, a chicken nugget without the cardboard filling…
10. Never end a
list with an odd number of points.
***A Model Partner is available from all good bookshops now! Alternatively you can buy the book directly from our website. More of Daniel's excellent blog posts can be found on www.danielseery.com ***