Advice to Writers: Hilary Mantel’s 10 Rules of Writing

Very good. Very inspiring. Very challenging. Have a look . . .

a dreaming skin

More advice to writers, this time from Hilary Mantel, double Booker Prize winning author of Wolf Hall (2009) and Bring Up The Bodies (2012), and the first woman to receive the award twice.

  • Are you serious about this? Then get an accountant.
  • Read Becoming a Writer, by Dorothea Brande. Then do what it says, including the tasks you think are impossible. You will particularly hate the advice to write first thing in the morning, but if you can manage it, it might well be the best thing you ever do for yourself. This book is about becoming a writer from the inside out. Many later advice manuals derive from it. You don’t ­really need any others, though if you want to boost your confidence, “how to” books seldom do any harm. You can kick-start a whole book with some little writing exercise.

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About T A Smith

Just one of the literacy scholars on this site who wants to explore writing in all its complexities.
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