- Cut out the metaphors and similes. In my first book I promised myself I wouldn’t use any and I slipped up during a sunset in chapter 11. I still blush when I come across it.
- A story needs rhythm. Read it aloud to yourself. If it doesn’t spin a bit of magic, it’s missing something.
- Editing is everything. Cut until you can cut no more. What is left often springs into life.
- Find your best time of the day for writing and write. Don’t let anything else interfere. Afterwards it won’t matter to you that the kitchen is a mess.
- Don’t wait for inspiration. Discipline is the key.
- Trust your reader. Not everything needs to be explained. If you really know something, and breathe life into it, they’ll know it too.
- Never forget, even your own rules are there to be broken.
Esther Freud was named as one of the 20 ‘Best of Young British Novelists’ by Granta magazine. She is also the co-founder of the women’s theatre company Norfolk Broads.
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