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Saturday, 20 February 2010

10 rules

Not strictly fairy tale related, but today's Guardian contains 10 rules for writing fiction by lots of great writers. I wanted to link to it here on the basis that a. some of you may write and so find this interesting, and b. some of the writers who've contributed have done wonderful things with fairy tales.

Here's a little taste of the rules by the fairy tale writers:

Margaret Atwood: 'Don't sit down in the middle of the woods. If you're lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the other road. And/or change the person. Change the tense. Change the opening page.'

Neil Gaiman: 'The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you're allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it's definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.'

Jeanette Winterson: 'Turn up for work. Discipline allows creative freedom. No discipline equals no freedom.'

and I had to end on Philip Pullman who contributed this: 'My main rule is to say no to things like this, which tempt me away from my proper work.'

There are lots of other fantastic writers featured too (including Michael Morpurgo, Michael Moorcock, Annie Proulx, Hilary Mantel—I could go on) so it's well worth a read. The article is available online in two parts:
Part 1
Part 2

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