Robert Pimm: novels, short stories and more

Home » Posts tagged 'how to write' (Page 2)

Tag Archives: how to write

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,553 other followers

Short story technique from the master: 3 quotations

Every writer wants to write better.

Some of my most popular blogs set out tips on how to do this.  That is why I have a “Writing about writing” category (see top left), including such gems as:

The last piece, with the Cosmic Kickers, is my most-read blog this year.

To find out more about these two, see The Russians: Vladivostok

I mention this because this week’s blog consists of three literary quotations of very different styles.  One is by W Somerset Maugham, (more…)

Two-and-a-half literary quotes

At my reading this week from my Berlin thriller Blood Summit, someone asked when I found time to write.

I wrote a blog on “Where I write” recently.

A blog on finding time to write is a fine idea – I have added it to my list.

Because, it’s a bummer.  Finding time to write is hard: lots of other things I dearly want to do, dear friends, dear family, dear visitors, and a job which I dearly want to do brilliantly.

Sometimes things don’t work out.

Writing at the Wolfgangsee in Austria

Like, this week, I have been away from home all day Friday and Saturday and a bit busy and haven’t got around to writing my planned blog.

(more…)

#howtowrite: Where to write

So. The rather awesome J K Rowling wrote swathes of the “Harry Potter” series in cafes in Edinburgh.

Can other writers do this?

With iPad at the Wolfgangsee.

When I am writing major pieces – such as a novel – I write in longhand, in an A4 pad. While typing straight onto a keyboard is in theory quicker, I find sitting staring at a screen for long periods makes my brain melt. Making quick amendments to what you have already written is also clumsier, and slower, on a computer.

By contrast, on my A4 paper pad I am constantly making amendments, (more…)

Two great sources of writing inspiration

You are a brilliant writer.

But not everyone realises it yet.

What to do?

One of the great truths of writing is that however brilliant you may be, getting someone to read and appreciate your work requires contact with other human beings.  I don’t mean publishers and agents, important as they are; but writers; editors; critics; and other, often annoying, people who give you advice on how to improve, polish and market your fiction.

download

George Orwell: another inspirational author (see below)

Here are two sources of such contacts.

First, I recently had the good fortune to hear the writer Paul McVeigh reading from his debut novel The Good Son in Izmir (the link goes to a goodreads site with rave reviews).  He was inspiring and entertaining, and mentioned his blog, which gets a staggering 40,000+ hits a month.   (more…)

How to write: Orhan Pamuk

I had the good fortune recently to attend two events at which the famous Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk was present.

IMG_1192

Orhan Pamuk with British film director Grant Gee (Photo: Robert Pimm)

The first was a dialogue between Orhan Pamuk and the British film director Grant Gee, whose intriguing film Innocence of Memories explores Pamuk’s book, and museum project, The Museum of Innocence.  

The second was an event to mark the closing of the rather terrific !f Istanbul Film Festival.

(more…)

How to work better: 10 rules? Or not?

My father died on 29 November 2013.

He left behind many wonderful memories and made many people’s lives better.

But this blog isn’t about him; I’d need a book for that.

This blog is about a list he left written on a tiny scrap of paper:

FullSizeRender

In his later years my father, a biblio- and logophile, occasionally left the odd piece of paper unfiled or perhaps in a place that was not obviously logical.

So it was my mother, as she sorted through his countless documents, who – rather astonishingly – discovered the scrap of paper; and brought it to my attention recently, thinking I might be interested.

I was fascinated.  People love lists.

This one is headed “How to work better” and reads as follows:

  • Do one thing at a time
  • Know the problem
  • Learn to listen
  • Learn to ask questions
  • Distinguish sense from nonsense
  • Accept change as inevitable
  • Admit mistakes
  • Say it simple (sic)
  • Be calm
  • Smile

(more…)

2 sets of brilliant tips on “how to write”

I wrote a blog a while back called “how to write“.  It was one of my most popular blogs.

Here are two lists of tips from famous authors about “how to write”.

download

The first list, by George Orwell, is good for style:

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

The excellent writer Owen Matthews brought to my attention a second list, by Henry Miller. It is good for (more…)

%d bloggers like this: