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The Maeve Binchy Writers' Club

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“The most important thing to realize is that everyone is capable of telling a story.” –Maeve Binchy   If you scribble story ideas on the backs of receipts… If you file away bits of overheard conversation from the coffee shop... If you’ve already chosen the perfect pen name... Well, then the journey has begun!   In this warm and inspiring guide, beloved author Maeve Binchy shar “The most important thing to realize is that everyone is capable of telling a story.” –Maeve Binchy   If you scribble story ideas on the backs of receipts… If you file away bits of overheard conversation from the coffee shop... If you’ve already chosen the perfect pen name... Well, then the journey has begun!   In this warm and inspiring guide, beloved author Maeve Binchy shares her unique insight to how a best selling author writes: from finding a subject and creating good writing habits to sustaining progress and seeking a publisher.   Whether you want to write stories or plays, humor or mysteries, Binchy prescribes advice for every step with her signature humor and generous spirit. She has called upon other writers, editors, and publishers to add their voices to this treasury of assistance for budding writers and a refreshing dose of encouragement for longtime scribes. And once you are ready, an appendix offers of writing awards and competitions and a selection of websites and literary journals.


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“The most important thing to realize is that everyone is capable of telling a story.” –Maeve Binchy   If you scribble story ideas on the backs of receipts… If you file away bits of overheard conversation from the coffee shop... If you’ve already chosen the perfect pen name... Well, then the journey has begun!   In this warm and inspiring guide, beloved author Maeve Binchy shar “The most important thing to realize is that everyone is capable of telling a story.” –Maeve Binchy   If you scribble story ideas on the backs of receipts… If you file away bits of overheard conversation from the coffee shop... If you’ve already chosen the perfect pen name... Well, then the journey has begun!   In this warm and inspiring guide, beloved author Maeve Binchy shares her unique insight to how a best selling author writes: from finding a subject and creating good writing habits to sustaining progress and seeking a publisher.   Whether you want to write stories or plays, humor or mysteries, Binchy prescribes advice for every step with her signature humor and generous spirit. She has called upon other writers, editors, and publishers to add their voices to this treasury of assistance for budding writers and a refreshing dose of encouragement for longtime scribes. And once you are ready, an appendix offers of writing awards and competitions and a selection of websites and literary journals.

30 review for The Maeve Binchy Writers' Club

  1. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Zapata

    I ordered this book from my favorite used bookseller in a fit of trying to gather more Binchy titles, ones that I either had not read or that seemed different from her usual. I thought this would be an interesting read, and it was to a degree. The book came about because Binchy wrote letters to the students of a 20-week creative writing course at the National College Of Ireland. There were also guest speakers from the literary field, such as other authors, varius editors and publishers. The book I ordered this book from my favorite used bookseller in a fit of trying to gather more Binchy titles, ones that I either had not read or that seemed different from her usual. I thought this would be an interesting read, and it was to a degree. The book came about because Binchy wrote letters to the students of a 20-week creative writing course at the National College Of Ireland. There were also guest speakers from the literary field, such as other authors, varius editors and publishers. The book is made up of the original letters written by Binchy to the class, the lectures by the guests, some short stories by MB illustrating some of the points she made in her letters, and a selection of her columns from The Irish Times. I have to be honest here. I enjoyed the columns more than the rest of the book. The advice to writers is the same you get from anyone: write what you know, set yourself a schedule and stick to it, know what you want to say before you say it, etc. Presented most charmingly in Binchy's friendly style, of course, but nothing really new. And I couldn't get into the short stories, either. I'm not sure why, but they all seemed familiar, as if they were outlines for other stories that got put into her books. But the columns were interesting little snippets of what MB saw and reacted to during her days writing for a newspaper. I have one Bnchy title left on my unread shelf of my bookcase: it is a collection of her Irish Times columns so of course now I am wondering if there will be any duplicates. I will wait a bit before I read that book, just so everything will feel fresh even if there are repeats. One extra item that made this book different was that there were special blank pages here and there designated as scribble space for the hopeful writer to jot down ideas or overheard conversations. The idea was to have a writer's journal on hand at all times. I bought this used, and when I read Binchy's explanation of the blank pages, I wondered if the previous owner had written on them and what he or she would have said. But except for underlines here and there in the first couple of letters, and a turned down corner for the letter about writing a blog, there was no hint of any person actively using this book the way it was meant to be used. I also left the blank pages blank and after my Mom reads it, I will pass it on to the library. Maybe someday someone will take the book and fill in all those blank pages with amazing ideas for a new Great American Novel. Hey, you never know, it could happen!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I admit to being a dedicated Maeve Binchy fan. After reading Minding Frankie for book club we heard of this book and put it on the schedule for Dec. I thought I would read it to determine if non-writers would find it interesting. I'm not sure whether the first halve will be of interest. For 20 weeks Binchy writes a letter to a class of wanna-be writers sharing an encouraging insight into the craft. Many weeks a letter from a professional editor, play write, etc. is also included. The second halv I admit to being a dedicated Maeve Binchy fan. After reading Minding Frankie for book club we heard of this book and put it on the schedule for Dec. I thought I would read it to determine if non-writers would find it interesting. I'm not sure whether the first halve will be of interest. For 20 weeks Binchy writes a letter to a class of wanna-be writers sharing an encouraging insight into the craft. Many weeks a letter from a professional editor, play write, etc. is also included. The second halve of the book includes seven short stories and a dozen newspaper columns by Binchy. These demonstrate her use of language, insight and wit that bring so many readers to her works. I had the privilege to attend a book signing once and shaking hands with the lady. Even with hundreds of books to sign she looked each person in the eye, had a personal comment, shook hands and genuinely thanked them for coming. Sad to think we've lost such a rich soul and friend to readers.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten McKenzie

    An easy-to-read insight into writing from the perspective of Maeve Binchy. Full of humorous snippets, I read it in one evening. This isn't a "How To Write A Novel" book, but more a "You Can Do It" book. Motivational and inspiring. If you are just starting out, note that it is dated, and never once mentions independent publishing or the rise of the ebook, and only has a passing mention of audio books. An enjoyable little book with space to make your own notes as you go. An easy-to-read insight into writing from the perspective of Maeve Binchy. Full of humorous snippets, I read it in one evening. This isn't a "How To Write A Novel" book, but more a "You Can Do It" book. Motivational and inspiring. If you are just starting out, note that it is dated, and never once mentions independent publishing or the rise of the ebook, and only has a passing mention of audio books. An enjoyable little book with space to make your own notes as you go.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lorelei

    I rather plowed through letters at the beginning of the book - interesting enough but slow going. Then the short stories started, and it only took a couple for me to be absolutely thrilled with this book. It also has some newspaper columns at the end, a couple of which are astonishingly good reads. Astonishing even though I've really liked almost everything Maeve Binchy has written. I would recommend it, but it is a book in parts, and some parts will appeal more to some people and others to othe I rather plowed through letters at the beginning of the book - interesting enough but slow going. Then the short stories started, and it only took a couple for me to be absolutely thrilled with this book. It also has some newspaper columns at the end, a couple of which are astonishingly good reads. Astonishing even though I've really liked almost everything Maeve Binchy has written. I would recommend it, but it is a book in parts, and some parts will appeal more to some people and others to others.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    This is the first book of Maeve Binchy that I have ever read - and I must say her style of writing was refreshing, down to earth, inspiring and quite funny. I have been officially inspired to try her works. As for this book of non-fiction - I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was an easy, practical and encouraging read for the budding writer and one I imagine would be great to refer to when feeling down or uninspired to write. If you are in a writing group yourself, this would be a good one to recommend This is the first book of Maeve Binchy that I have ever read - and I must say her style of writing was refreshing, down to earth, inspiring and quite funny. I have been officially inspired to try her works. As for this book of non-fiction - I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was an easy, practical and encouraging read for the budding writer and one I imagine would be great to refer to when feeling down or uninspired to write. If you are in a writing group yourself, this would be a good one to recommend to your group for those moments when you need a "pick-me-up" which once in a while, we budding writers all need. Thank you for spending the time to write it Maeve Binchy.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Claire Perry

    A book of didactal letters from Maeve to a writing class. This book is loaded with warm words of encouragement, wisdom and insight. It is the perfect antidote for a writer suffering the common profession-related blues arising from self-doubt.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marianna

    I'll admit I skimmed the first part of this book with the advice about writing. What I was really after were Binchy's short stories and columns in the second half. They didn't disappoint. I'll admit I skimmed the first part of this book with the advice about writing. What I was really after were Binchy's short stories and columns in the second half. They didn't disappoint.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Author Annette Dunlea

    Maeve Binchy : The Writers Club The Writers Club is a book written by Ireland’s queen of fiction Maeve Binchy as a beginner’s writers guide. It is published by Orion and its ISBN is 0752883070. It is as one would expect written in Maeve’s usual style both witty and compassionate . She says everyone can write ! It comprises of 20 letters from Maeve to aspiring writers including advice on writing and getting published. Tips on what publishers and agents are looking for are included, as is snippets Maeve Binchy : The Writers Club The Writers Club is a book written by Ireland’s queen of fiction Maeve Binchy as a beginner’s writers guide. It is published by Orion and its ISBN is 0752883070. It is as one would expect written in Maeve’s usual style both witty and compassionate . She says everyone can write ! It comprises of 20 letters from Maeve to aspiring writers including advice on writing and getting published. Tips on what publishers and agents are looking for are included, as is snippets of a writer’s life. Blank pages are included for personal thoughts and notes so it can be used as a journal. A sweet short story by Maeve Binchy called Writing Class is also included. It is a pleasant book aimed to inspire people to just pick up a pen and begin to write. I am a huge Mave Binchy fan and that helped but I still highly recommend to all libraries, bookclubs, colleges and budding writers. Reviewed by Annette Dunlea author of Always and Forever and The Honey Trap.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Akshay Pai

    This book is a collection of letters written mostly by Maeve Binchy but also by many other accomplished writers in many different genres. It is an amazing book for aspiring writers and touches upon difficult topics like the motivation to write, the art of writing and the dilemmas during publishing the book, etc. The best part about this book is that the letters focus on the difficulties faced by writers and the possible hurdles that one might occur while writing. This has been intended to make This book is a collection of letters written mostly by Maeve Binchy but also by many other accomplished writers in many different genres. It is an amazing book for aspiring writers and touches upon difficult topics like the motivation to write, the art of writing and the dilemmas during publishing the book, etc. The best part about this book is that the letters focus on the difficulties faced by writers and the possible hurdles that one might occur while writing. This has been intended to make sure that the future authors realize that they aren't alone and persevering is the key to a successful career in writing. This book aims to be a journal where the reader can make lots of notes, learn about writing in many genres, seek inspiration, learn from the mistakes of great authors, learn about the different styles of writing, having an adaptable mindset and much more. Overall, this book is a great read and there are a lot of things one can learn from it. It is one of those books which can be read multiple times, new notes can be added making it more valuable over time.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie

    I didn't expect much, so I wasn't too let down. I was unappreciative of the first part of the book (about 120 pages), her weekly letters imparting her insights on different writing topics. The information was very basic and could be picked up elsewhere. The sketches are cute, and she's nice enough, but I didn't really see the point of publishing these. The appendix of writing awards/competitions and list of magazines to submit to, found in the middle of the book, was awesome however. The second I didn't expect much, so I wasn't too let down. I was unappreciative of the first part of the book (about 120 pages), her weekly letters imparting her insights on different writing topics. The information was very basic and could be picked up elsewhere. The sketches are cute, and she's nice enough, but I didn't really see the point of publishing these. The appendix of writing awards/competitions and list of magazines to submit to, found in the middle of the book, was awesome however. The second half of the book consists of seven short stories and 12 columns of Binchy's. This was kind of nice because I'd never actually read any of her work. Some of the stuff was pretty good. Some was so-so. The best thing about the book was that it got me to start writing short stories and made me excited about submitting them. The worst thing about the book was the pointless journal pages in between each letter and story. Who's really going to use the blank pages in The Maeve Binchy Writers' Club as a journal?

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marina

    This is a short, accessible guide to getting started on and keeping up with your writing project. It's written in the form of weekly letters, interspersed with contributions from others. Not only does it offer practical advice to make the whole writing process more manageable and achievable, but it also does so in an entertaining and interesting way. The short story included at the end provides a wonderful illustration of how to follow the tips provided as well as being enjoyable in its own righ This is a short, accessible guide to getting started on and keeping up with your writing project. It's written in the form of weekly letters, interspersed with contributions from others. Not only does it offer practical advice to make the whole writing process more manageable and achievable, but it also does so in an entertaining and interesting way. The short story included at the end provides a wonderful illustration of how to follow the tips provided as well as being enjoyable in its own right. I have never read any of Maeve Binchy's novels but after enjoying her relaxed and easy style, I intend to remedy this. I would recommend this book to anyone who has a story inside them but hasn't quite discovered how to get it out.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Jones

    Love Maeve Binchy, not least because I am from Ireland too. Her worlds are so intimately drawn and her characters so varied, but in a way familiar. Great story and pacing and always a pleasure to read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Gisela

    It looks like this 2008 edition only contains half the material of the later edition which includes columns and more stories by Binchy. I think this book is great if you haven't read any other similar books. It didn't particularly inspire me as it was pretty general and I'd heard most of the advice before (e.g. yes, it's hard but you need to keep at it; write what you know about; the value of writers groups etc). Probably the most interesting parts for me were the "publishing industry" sections wi It looks like this 2008 edition only contains half the material of the later edition which includes columns and more stories by Binchy. I think this book is great if you haven't read any other similar books. It didn't particularly inspire me as it was pretty general and I'd heard most of the advice before (e.g. yes, it's hard but you need to keep at it; write what you know about; the value of writers groups etc). Probably the most interesting parts for me were the "publishing industry" sections with the strong recommendation for getting an agent (and why, and how you relate to them) and the value of your relationship with an editor too.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sheena BZA

    As a book on writing advice, it was light and full of common sense. Certainly not the silver bullet that would make anyone into an immediate writer. That said, I found the underlying requirement for discipline contained in the letters to the writer club, when engaging in writing, to be refreshing. Having never read anything by Maeve Binchy before and thus having no real expectation, I was in for a treat with the second part of the book. I shall not spoil the short stories for any future reader, As a book on writing advice, it was light and full of common sense. Certainly not the silver bullet that would make anyone into an immediate writer. That said, I found the underlying requirement for discipline contained in the letters to the writer club, when engaging in writing, to be refreshing. Having never read anything by Maeve Binchy before and thus having no real expectation, I was in for a treat with the second part of the book. I shall not spoil the short stories for any future reader, save to say the Mrs. Binchy's characters are full, real and layered. Wonderful.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michaela

    This book is brilliant. I’ve written 40,000 words of my book since beginning this. I’ve read a chapter each week and followed the advice of writing each day, as much as I can. I will keep referring back to this for reference. It contains lots of ideas, encouragement and a lovely little short story to finish off at the end. But most importantly, it encourages you to start writing and to keep writing!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Vidya (VJ)

    As someone who's looking for being a writer, this was quite a helpful book. It covered various types of writing (for radio, for journalism, for plays, for comedy, etc.) with a note from those specialised in that form of writing. This book could be a beginner's guide to writing and understanding the writing field. At the end of the day, it reminds us that no matter how much you read, if you want to write, just take a paper and pen/ computer and START! As someone who's looking for being a writer, this was quite a helpful book. It covered various types of writing (for radio, for journalism, for plays, for comedy, etc.) with a note from those specialised in that form of writing. This book could be a beginner's guide to writing and understanding the writing field. At the end of the day, it reminds us that no matter how much you read, if you want to write, just take a paper and pen/ computer and START!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Crabtree

    A someone about to start a Writing Club with a couple of friends, reading this seemed natural. I borrowed it from the library and was suitably impressed - to the extent that I bought two copies: one for myself and one for my Writing Club co-founder! Interestingly, I am not a reader of Maeve Binchy's fiction, but I found this a good read with lots to think about for my writing. A someone about to start a Writing Club with a couple of friends, reading this seemed natural. I borrowed it from the library and was suitably impressed - to the extent that I bought two copies: one for myself and one for my Writing Club co-founder! Interestingly, I am not a reader of Maeve Binchy's fiction, but I found this a good read with lots to think about for my writing.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Donna Mork

    An interesting read. The first half of the book is advice from both Maeve and some guest writers on how to write in various aspects. The second half of the book is short stories, examples from her own writing. She had an interesting way where her stories seem to ramble this way and that, but in the end, they all come together neatly. I must add her to my list of authors to read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Elysa

    This delightful writing book is good because it carries Maeve Binchy's voice and a decent final sampling of her short stories and essays for inspiration. The writing advice itself is hardly earth shattering, but it is rendered in Maeve Binchy's distinctly warm and engaging voice, and it is all the better for it. This delightful writing book is good because it carries Maeve Binchy's voice and a decent final sampling of her short stories and essays for inspiration. The writing advice itself is hardly earth shattering, but it is rendered in Maeve Binchy's distinctly warm and engaging voice, and it is all the better for it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Hajra Shaikh

    If anyone's wondering what this book is about, it's a non-fiction, a self help guidance to get yourself to writing. It also has speeches from experts in various fields on writing for stage, comedy, children, editor and publisher. What I took away from this book is that, you need to write, write and write. If anyone's wondering what this book is about, it's a non-fiction, a self help guidance to get yourself to writing. It also has speeches from experts in various fields on writing for stage, comedy, children, editor and publisher. What I took away from this book is that, you need to write, write and write.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    I found this book at a Little Free Library in South Pasadena. I was dropping off a book and it caught my eye. It's friendly writing advice from the author and several of her writer/editor/publisher pals, followed by some of Binchy's short stories and columns from The Irish Times. I found this book at a Little Free Library in South Pasadena. I was dropping off a book and it caught my eye. It's friendly writing advice from the author and several of her writer/editor/publisher pals, followed by some of Binchy's short stories and columns from The Irish Times.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dhwani

    INFORMATIVE Key points and tips for writing have been provided by her and various other authors. She has covered about writing on almost every platform and genre. It's a nice book to read if you're a writer or want to get into writing. INFORMATIVE Key points and tips for writing have been provided by her and various other authors. She has covered about writing on almost every platform and genre. It's a nice book to read if you're a writer or want to get into writing.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Carielyn Mills

    her advice is as bland and uninspired as her fiction. i got nothing from it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mary Crowley

    An inspirational read, as always Maeve pens with a strong voice allowing you to become involved with the characters in a way you feel you know them personally.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Oz

    Not quite as wonderful as reading one of her novels, but still anything by this terrific writer is worth reading.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Lobo

    Some of the advice in this book is really good, though I don't highly recommend reading the book as it's a bit outdated in its techniques. Some of the advice in this book is really good, though I don't highly recommend reading the book as it's a bit outdated in its techniques.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kanchan Mandanekar

    Found it superficial.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    Note: I'm not reviewing the short stories as I didn't read them--I borrowed the book for the writing advice. I'll add that splitting the book between writing advice & short stories seems like bad choice, leading to a product only satisfying to hardcore Binchy fans. I feel bad giving this two stars, because Maeve Binchy seems like a lovely, warm person. Also, the book is harmless, unlike some other writing books I've read, and did encourage me to write. For an extra dose of guilt, book proceeds ap Note: I'm not reviewing the short stories as I didn't read them--I borrowed the book for the writing advice. I'll add that splitting the book between writing advice & short stories seems like bad choice, leading to a product only satisfying to hardcore Binchy fans. I feel bad giving this two stars, because Maeve Binchy seems like a lovely, warm person. Also, the book is harmless, unlike some other writing books I've read, and did encourage me to write. For an extra dose of guilt, book proceeds appear to support the non-profit National College of Ireland. But it's not a good book. The advice here is brief and obvious, and Binchy doesn't use enough of her own anecdotes (since this is marketed by force of her personality) to make up for it. Part of the problem is she covers too much territory, giving advice on editors, writers groups, publishing, playwriting, men's fiction, novel writing, writing short stories, writing for children, writing comedy, mystery writing, journalism, & blogging--all in less than 125 pages. Most of it's info you've heard before (wake up early to write, editors are invaluable, children are hard to write for). Some advice is wrong, too. Submitting novels directly to publishers, sans agent, is almost impossible now (and undesirable, to boot). Men's fiction doesn't equal Clive Cussler. Other gripes: the pencil drawings felt amateurish & unfinished--given their simplicity, they could have at least been done in pen. I also disliked the letter format and intermittent blank pages ("for writing practice"), pointless affectations that read as filler. Not to be too down on it, though--it's well meant. Maeve comes off as kind & encouraging, and I enjoyed her anecdotes. Plus, as I've said, it did push me to write more, so that's something. Overall, it's not a buy, but worth borrowing from a friend or the library. Read more: I picked this book up due to this wonderful essay Binchy wrote for the New York Times. Read it! For more writing advice, Nathan Bransford's blog is a good starting point--it's my favorite industry blog, and he's generous with links. As for books, I like the tough love in Stephen King's On Writing, Strunk & White's The Elements of Style, & John Gardner's On Becoming a Novelist. If you're in a mood where you need more encouragement/inspiration, try Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones or Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird. Jessica Page Morrell's work also looks excellent.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Julie Morris

    I picked up this book as part of my quest to focus on my writing this year and get that novel completed and off to the RNA for critique. Maeve Binchy is one of my favourite authors, she really knows how to write honestly about genuine people and ordinary lives in an interesting way that pinpoints the fears, desires, and emotions that drive our behaviour. If I could write 20% as well as she did, I would be completely satisfied. This book is a collection of letters written by Maeve to the reader, e I picked up this book as part of my quest to focus on my writing this year and get that novel completed and off to the RNA for critique. Maeve Binchy is one of my favourite authors, she really knows how to write honestly about genuine people and ordinary lives in an interesting way that pinpoints the fears, desires, and emotions that drive our behaviour. If I could write 20% as well as she did, I would be completely satisfied. This book is a collection of letters written by Maeve to the reader, each on a different aspect of the writing process, together with some pieces of advice from other contributing writers such as Marian Keyes. The book came about based on a writing course that Maeve delivered in person to aspiring writers in Dublin. I have mixed feelings about this book. In some ways, it is really interesting to hear Maeve's take on the writing process and she speaks with the same warmth and friendliness that you see in her novels. She is encouraging and evidently believes that if she can have the success she has had, anyone can do it. There are some really useful nuggets of advice in the book about writing, and about the nuts and bolts of the publishing process in general. On the negative side, the book is very short and, therefore, sparse in detail. It also tries to cover a lot of topics within its covers, including writing plays, comedy, for the radio, for children and I think it tries to cram too much diverse information into too few pages, so there is little detail on any topic. Overall, it is a interesting little introduction to writing, particularly for fans of Maeve Binchy and her writing style and voice and who miss her now she is gone. It is not an in-depth guide to writing and anyone who wants a detailed creative writing book should look elsewhere.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katrina Sark

    p.13 – They say that when beginning a story you should always try to catch people at some interesting juncture of their lives, like when they have to make a choice or a decision, or when someone has betrayed them, or at the start of love or the end of love. It’s better to come across them at some kind of crisis than in the middle of a long, lazy summer where nothing happens. The notion of change is important in a story. p.18 – Before you begin, what must you do? You must know the end. Otherwise y p.13 – They say that when beginning a story you should always try to catch people at some interesting juncture of their lives, like when they have to make a choice or a decision, or when someone has betrayed them, or at the start of love or the end of love. It’s better to come across them at some kind of crisis than in the middle of a long, lazy summer where nothing happens. The notion of change is important in a story. p.18 – Before you begin, what must you do? You must know the end. Otherwise you are lost. I have begun far too many short stories which died the death because I didn’t know where they were going. You don’t have the luxury in a short story of not knowing how it will turn out and waiting until you see how the characters are getting on. I had to force myself to write down the resolution. p.22 – Producing a polished draft – This is the bit that separates the writers from scribblers, and it take a long time. Inch by inch, you develop your messy first draft into a flowing, coherent narrative where every word earns its keep. Good stories are not written: they are rewritten. p.112 – Good writers are always good readers and good listeners. No matter how naturally gifted you may be with, say, description, or plot, or characterization, the more you read, the better your chances of learning more about what you want to say. All writing is about learning – learning to do what you do better, trying out different forms, concentrating on the work in hand, rather than the ‘impact’ or reception it may or may not have.

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