Reread, rewrite, reread, rewrite. If it still doesn’t work, throw it away.
A problem with a piece of writing often clarifies itself if you go for a long walk.
Finish the day's writing when you still want to continue.
The human longing for story is so powerful, so primitive, that it seems like something not learned, but locked into our genes.
Reread, rewrite, reread, rewrite. If it still doesn't work, throw it away. It's a nice feeling, and you don't want to be cluttered with the corpses of poems and stories which have everything in them except the life they need.
If the garden of Eden really exists it does so moment by moment, fragmented and tough, cropping up like a fan of buddleia high up in the gutter of a deserted warehouse, or in a heap of frozen cabbages becoming luminous in the reflected light of roadside snow.
i wish i was away in Ingo far across the briny sea sailing over deepest waters where neither care nore worry trouble me
Count Dracula had directed me to go to the Golden Krone Hotel, which I found, to my great delight, to be thoroughly old-fashioned, for of course I wanted to see all I could of the ways of the country.
I hope that readers will tear through my books because they can't stop themselves - and then, maybe, read them again and find new things there.
If we understand the past, we are more likely to recognise what is happening around us.
In a world without air all you breathe is adventure!
It is a violation which has obsessed the tyrants of the twentieth century. They do not want simply to kill their opponents, but to liquidate them, to deny that they have ever existed.
For you where never my blood sister so no more shall I call you little sister
I was always influenced by language.
I enjoy research; in fact research is so engaging that it would be easy to go on for years, and never write the novel at all.
I didn't choose Russia but Russia chose me. I had been fascinated from an early age by the culture, the language, the literature and the history to the place.
Once one habit peels away the others follow it. You have to hold on, or the next thing you'll find yourself parading down the street in your nightdress. Habit is everything.
A novel, in the end, is a container, a shape which you are trying to pour your story into.
As individuals, we are shaped by story from the time of birth; we are formed by what we are told by our parents, our teachers, our intimates.
However, the difficulties and pleasures of the writing itself are similar for a novel with a historical setting and a novel with a contemporary setting, as far as I'm concerned.
However, I began to submit poems to British magazines, and some were accepted. It was a great moment to see my first poems published. It felt like entering a tradition.
I can remember being in my pram: children stayed in their prams much longer then than they do now. A big bouncy pram with black covers and a hood with metal clips that could trap your fingers. I was looking up at my sister who was sitting on the pram seat, with her back to me.
I concentrate on the lives of individuals whom the reader comes to know and feel with intimately.
I have learned so much from working with other poets, travelling and reading with them, spending days discussing poems in progress. There is the sense that we are all, as writers, part of something which is more powerful than any of us.
We are creatures of story.
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