Nightspore

Reflections on fantasy, SF, writing, music, technology, life…

Solitude, coffee, music: Ian Rankin on how he writes

As mentioned before a while ago, I am a big fan of Ian Rankin, the Scottish crime fiction writer. Therefore I was fascinated to read this article by him in The Guardian about how he writes:
Ian Rankin: ‘Solitude, coffee, music: 27 days later I have a first draft’

I found particularly interesting his different approaches to the first, second and third drafts of his novels and that he does not research too much early on.

Incidentally, his taste in writing music matches mine pretty well, as does his need for solitude and coffee… I live in hope of emulating some of his success!

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Review: “Self-editing for Fiction Writers”

Late last year I made the decision to undertake a proper edit of my first novel, “Rose In Winter”, which has waited in the twilight zone between second or third draft for over a year. To help me tackle this, my family gave me two books on editing for Christmas. The first, reviewed here, is “Self-editing for Fiction Writers – How to edit yourself into print” by Renni Browne and Dave King, both professional editors.

I think it is fair to say I have learnt something useful from each chapter. These are:

    Show and Tell
    Characterisation and Exposition
    Point of View
    Proportion
    Dialogue Mechanics
    See How it Sounds
    Interior Monologue
    Easy Beats
    Breaking Up is Easy to Do
    Once is Usually Enough
    Sophistication
    Voice

As someone who has struggled with writing natural sounding dialogue and with finding the unique voice for the different characters, I suspect those two sections will be the most useful but the tips and all the chapter summaries have proved their value already.

Strongly recommended if you are having problems with editing!

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