I'm a trainee journalist living in London. A personal blog is forthcoming.
A lesson in writing from one of the best
Ernest Hemingway once famously said that "there is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." As poetic a testament to the nature of the writing beast as this is, it isn't the most practical advice on offer. For something a little less maudlin and more easily utilised I recommend to all budding writers that you hot foot it down to Waterstones Piccadilly on Wednesday 20th March to hear A.L. Kennedy discuss her new book, On Writing.
A. L. Kennedy's new book; On Writing. Image from Waterstones.com
As a wannabe novelist I have read almost as many books and articles on writing as there are successful authors to produce them. They all have their uses (although sometimes only as paperweights), providing colloquial variations on the same advice about showing and not telling, writing what you know, just adding zombies for instant danger and suspense etc. The better ones (or the ones I personally find the most helpful) give practical advice on how to effectively utilise or bend the many (many many) writing adages and guidelines while offering insight into the workings of life as a professional scribe and throwing in some academic observations of the history and culture of the craft for good measure.
I feel that A.L. Kennedy is destined to give us one of the better ones. In the popular blog she writes for the Guardian, the industrious author-comedian provides an array of genuinely helpful and endlessly interesting articles on writing that are flavoured with wit, charm and the weight of lengthy experience as a writer of note.
This year Kennedy has gathered together some of these posts in book-form, combining her best advice with new essays on the various aspects of fiction writing - from character development to individual voice and even writers' health and well-being - and finally capping it all off with the transcript of her one-woman show about writing, which will likely result in a hilariously helpful romp of a read.
Some of Kennedy's other work. Images taken from Waterstones.com
A warm, funny and observant contemporary voice, Kennedy manages to teach and inspire as the friendly writing tutor through her blog series while producing reams of high-quality short stories, novels and essays and writing and performing successful word-weaving stand up comedy, receiving high acclaim in all her endeavours. Her array of character driven novels and short stories are evidence of her skill and her way with words and understanding of the craft promise a fascinating and insightful talk.
The event begins at 6:30pm and costs a mere £5 to attend (or £3 with a Waterstones Loyalty Card), including a glass of wine and the opportunity to have your book signed.
Waterstones Piccadilly. Image from Wikipedia
If On Writing sounds like just your kind of craft-honing handbook, you enjoy the snobbish feeling of drinking red wine in a bookshop, or you just need a fresh way to procrastinate before actually putting pen to paper then call the events office at Piccadilly to reserve your place.