Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

Rules for writing fiction

The Guardian has advice from 14 authors about how to write. My favorite is Roddy Doyle’s:

Do not place a photograph of your ­favourite author on your desk, especially if the author is one of the famous ones who committed suicide.

Helen Dunmore’s “A problem with a piece of writing often clarifies itself if you go for a long walk” is also sound.

But Richard Ford’s “Marry somebody you love and who thinks you being a writer’s a good idea” takes the cake.


  1. I can’t disagree with your last point (grin), but I also liked Margaret Atwood: “Do back exercises. Pain is distracting.”

  2. Yes, Atwood's advice is also excellent!

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