Eight Indispensable Tips for (good) Aspiring Writers. On Writing. You’re welcome


1) Always write on a smartphone, always in front of the TV and always while drinking.

2) Always listen to the opinions of others. Opinions matter, especially those of your bank manager and/or landlord.

3) Spend 89% of any story describing your protagonist’s physical appearance. The rest of the story will write itself.

4) Your characters must eat or they will die. Decide what they like and feed them well. 89% of any story should always take place in a restaurant. The rest in a DIY store.

5) Has your story stalled? Looking for resolution? Death is always a friend. For example, “Denis looked into the swirling tempest. This was what he’d waited for his entire life; ever since the tall man, with a hat like ice-cream had left him on the steps of the orphanage. Something began to take shape amid the chaos. The answer, the answer to every question. Denis died.”

6) Never read fiction. Your work will become contaminated.

7) But If you must, read the work of the author you admire most. Imagine spending a day in their shoes. Google them, find out where they live. Pack a small lunch. Tuna perhaps. Get on a train. Travel to their house. Wait until the lights go out then go through their bins. See what they eat, what washing detergent they use, their favourite wine. Get a room in the hotel on the corner of their street. Tell the maitre d you’re a cousin just in from out of town. 3 days and 10876 photographs later, tell him you can’t afford the bill. Ask him if you can work it off. You’ve worked in kitchens before. Yes you hated it, but it was work, it paid. When he calls the police, run. Run like you did that morning you burnt down the school with a magnifying glass, some petrol and a vintage pornagraphic magazine.

8) Write infrequently