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.
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.
The human longing for story is so powerful, so primitive, that it seems like something not learned, but locked into our genes.
For you where never my blood sister so no more shall I call you little sister
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.
Those who try to obliterate the past are injuring the present.
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.
I would like people to come into my Dreamworld and then choose to stay.
If we understand the past, we are more likely to recognise what is happening around us.
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.
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 wish i was away in Ingo far across the briny sea sailing over deepest waters where neither care nore worry trouble me
In a world without air all you breathe is adventure!
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.
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.
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.
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