We’re starting a new series here on Capital Letters. Over the next few months, we’ll be giving you short snippets of publishing and writing advice from industry professionals. This Top 5 series is curated by our intern, Sophie Lovell.
- “Read it aloud to yourself because that’s the only way to be sure the rhythms of the sentences are OK (prose rhythms are too complex and subtle to be thought out – they can be got right only by ear).” –Diana Athill, The Guardian‘s “10 Rules for Writing Fiction”
- “I really think that reading is just as important as writing when you’re trying to be a writer because it’s the only apprenticeship we have, it’s the only way of learning how to write a story.” –John Green, from his YouTube video “Writing Advice”
- “Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.” –Kurt Vonnegut, from the preface to Vonnegut’s short story collection Bagombo Snuff Box
- “Never sit staring at a blank page or screen. If you find yourself stuck, write. Write about the scene you’re trying to write. Writing about is easier than writing, and chances are, it will give you your way in. You could try listing ten things that might happen next, or do a timed freewrite…” –Laini Taylor, Publishers Weekly‘s 5 Writing Tips from Laini Taylor
- “Don’t be afraid to fail. I fail every day. I failed thousands of times writing The Book Thief, and that book now means everything to me… Failure has been my best friend as a writer. It tests you, to see if you have what it takes to see it through.” –Markus Zusak, The Guardian‘s “Why I Write”