Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Writer's Methods

I like Mslexia’s author interviews and especially the insights into their methods. This issue Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Half of a Yellow Sun) has given her method and I agree with most of them.

In the third year of university, my tutor handed out photocopies of these small Mslexia methods. (I remember feeling like a ‘know it all’ as I had the original copies). We had to decide which author had the best method and which ones could we relate too. I struggled as I could take bites from each one. But with Adichie’s I like all of them.

These are my favourite ones:

  • Have no routine, no rituals.
  • Generally a nice meal helps.
  • Eat chocolate.
  • Always write on you Mac laptop.
  • Curiosity never killed any cats – curiosity is one of a writer’s greatest tools.
  • Base you writing on reality, not on themes.
  • Read books
  • Don’t let others tell you how to tell your stories.
  • Work on short stories while working on a novel.
  • Write when it comes.
  • Enjoy the fun of doing something that you love.

You can read an extract here.

Adichie Interview

This has also inspired me to write these in my new Moleskine notebook and to also consider my methods.


Teresa Stenson said...

Jessica - you know, I feel like we're quite similar in a lot of ways...

I considered writing a blog of Adichie's 'Ways to write a book' because so many of her ways rang true with me.

Freaky! :) (see, I'm doing smiley faces like you now.)

Sophie Playle said...

I love that magazine. And I'm half way through the article (started reading it while I was waiting for a friend in a pub...)

Jessica said...

Indeed freaky!

One day I *really* want to be published in Mslexia. Maybe fourth time lucky!

allison said...

Those are great tips - usually my workshop teachers have told us to have a rountine! But I haven't been able to make that work for me, so I like yours much better. They also stress themes, and it always stifles me a bit to think of the theme of a story before I've even written the whole thing.

(Sorry for all the random back-comments - slow day at work and your blog is chock full o' good reads!)