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.
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.
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.
i wish i was away in Ingo far across the briny sea sailing over deepest waters where neither care nore worry trouble me
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!
I would like people to come into my Dreamworld and then choose to stay.
Mourning Ruby is not a flat landscape: it is more like a box with pictures painted on every face. And each face is also a door which opens, I hope, to take the reader deep into the book.
My first collection of poems was published by Bloodaxe Books, which was then a very new imprint.
Poets go through a very tough apprenticeship in the use of words.
The language has got to be fully alive - I can't bear dull, flaccid writing myself and I don't see why any reader should put up with it.
The poets whom I knew then were all men and all seemed dauntingly sure of themselves - although I am sure that really they were as uncertain as I was.
To try to expunge an individual's history is a terrible violation.
When you are young you don't always realise how full of doubts everybody is.
Writing children's books gives a writer a very strong sense of narrative drive.
Writing poetry makes you intensely conscious of how words sound, both aloud and inside the head of the reader. You learn the weight of words and how they sound to the ear.
Those who try to obliterate the past are injuring the present.
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.
We are creatures of story.
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.
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