Home > Uncategorized > Insights into Writers’ Minds – what I learnt at this year’s Edinburgh Book Festival

Insights into Writers’ Minds – what I learnt at this year’s Edinburgh Book Festival

From the lovely Patrick Ness

–      The importance to a writer of kindness and truth.

–      That you should never ask for permission but write what you want.

–      People are funny – even in dark times, so humour has an important place in books.

–      If you get stuck, just let your characters talk.

From the inspiring Sally Gardner

–      That she has complete belief in her created world.

–      That names are crucial.

–      That she doesn’t know why the blue cuckoo clock is in the hat box with Emily Vole in the first Wings and Co novel – she just knows it’s there.

From the thought-provoking Abbas Khider

–      Humour is important –  “When writing about torture, it is not necessary to torture the reader.”

–      humour can encourage people to read about and engage with subjects they’d really rather not think about.

From the rib-tickling Barry Hutchinson

–      that an author event can be so funny that my daughter has to bite her hand to stop herself from going into hysterics.

From the irreverent Matt Haig

–      You should write for yourself.

–      If he has more than three characters, then he loses track of who is in the room.

–      That part of a novelist’s skill is to blag it.

From the thoughtful Kathleen Jamie

–      Naming is important – precision is a mark of respect.

From the generous Ali Smith

–      Connectedness is what art is about.

–      Art breeds itself – one idea leads to another and another and another…

From the entertaining Liz Kessler

–      The importance of place – and a fabulous notebook

–      That writing is hard graft as well as swanning about pretending you’re doing research.

And last but not least, from the Translation Duel (French)

–      That sometimes you have to use a rude word to translate a perfectly neutral word in the original.

I had a fantastic time at the book festival again this year.  I can hardly wait to find out what’s on the programme for next year.  Roll on August 2014!

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