I wanted to write many years before I became good at it. I practiced writing in the same way that a pianist practices scales or a tennis player practices serves. I worked on sentences, then paragraphs, then scenes, over and over, until I got them right. If you want to become a writer, you may find the same is true for you. There is a long apprenticeship before you can write a full-length novel—and ages before you can write a good one. However, you can develop traits in yourself that will make it more likely you will succeed.
I am not saying you can’t be an excellent writer without developing these characteristics—authors’ personalities are replete with bizarre idiosyncrasies, social deviance, not to mention serious drug and alcohol abuse that sometimes obscure the work, itself. Admittedly success for any writer is rare, but here are a few ideas that might those of you who are writing.
‘Write Here’ takes us into our authors’ writing spaces across the globe, where they tell us about how they go about their craft. We mark each location on the map at the bottom of each post. In this edition, Claire Lowdon reveals the secret weapon in her writing process – her grandmother.
To celebrate the publication of Mainlander, 4th Estate were lucky enough to sit down with its author Will Smith (screenwriter of the Thick of It, VEEP and more). We spoke about The Thick of It, VEEP, the politics of the UK versus the US, working directly under the Messiah of satire Armando Iannucci, and the novel writing process. Listen to and download what we thought might be a fairly typical author interview, but very quickly descended into a laugh-a-minute chat about creativity, the anomaly that is Jersey, and accidentally writing feminist characters. Read more…