As a writer, reader and editor, I am often asked about the hands-on side of the writing process. I always seek to learn more from others too. Below are some links to articles I have written or which I have found most informative.
Three fundamental questions, I suggest, each aspiring writer needs to ask as they work on their first book.
Read this excellent Orwell essay and delve into your motivation for writing. Use it to help decipher and decide your style, audience and content.
Markus Zusak’s book was an enormous success but often a writer might not fully understand why he wrote a story or what it was really about. “The Book Thief” was about words and the power of owning those words or wrestling back control of meaning.
“It took about five or six years [for me to realise] the book is about the idea that Hitler destroyed through words and propaganda. And this is the story of a girl who is stealing those words back.”
Virginia Woolf’s “Writer’s Diary” (edited and compiled from her lengthy diary volumes by her loyal and often overlooked husband, Leonard Woolf, after her suicide) is often recommended as a guide to writers. It’s certainly a valuable insight into the creative mind. However this short essay on keeping a writer’s notebook by Joan Didion, an acclaimed American journalist and writer who died in 2021 is also worth considering.