Writers on Writing

Writers on Writing

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In this title, 24 high-profile authors discuss their working methods, among them Fay Weldon, Robert Drewe, Richard Ford and Vikram Seth. They talk frankly about how they structure their day and their books, the role of inspiration versus sheer hard work, the need for self-discipline, the importance of reading and how they deal with writer's block. This insight into the writer's world offers a rare behind-the-scenes look that reveals as much about the authors as about their work.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 128 x 198 x 17mm | 231g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 014026728X
  • 9780140267280

Review Text

In this excellent collection, 24 renowned writers, most of them novelists, talk candidly about the joys and frustrations of their craft. The result is a masterclass for all budding novelists and a source of interest for anyone who wonders what it takes to get an artist's creative juices flowing. The articles are presented as a series of essays, though in fact they are edited versions of interviews given for an Australian television series filmed in Adelaide. The emphasis is therefore on antipodean writers but there is a good smattering from elsewhere. Famous names include Fay Weldon, Vikram Seth, Thomas Keneally and Janet Evanovich. This ensures a fair covering of genres and a good cross-section of personalities. The book focuses less on theory than on gritty experience. Subjects covered include motivation, conquering writer's block, the wherefores of plotting and preferred methods of working. There are however two downsides to the book. One is that the wisdom becomes repetitive after a time, with around 70 percent of the writers saying much the same thing. The other is that prose diluted from interviews does not always convert well to the written word. At times, as in the case of Fay Weldon, it seems terse to the point of curtness. But there are also glimpses of sheer exuberance and the pleasure that these writers gain from creating magical realms. As Isobelle Carmody states, 'Writing is the best thing in the world to do. I'm off on a quest with a sword in my hand. I live probably the best life that anybody could live. I recommend it as a career option absolutely.' That sounds like all the encouragement any would-be writer could desire. (Kirkus UK)show more

Author information

James Roberts is a freelance writer & director who has worked on documentaries, educational series and multi-media projects.show more

Rating details

19 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 21% (4)
4 58% (11)
3 21% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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