Write Away: One Novelist's Approach to Fiction and the Writing Life

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9780340832080: Write Away: One Novelist's Approach to Fiction and the Writing Life

Elizabeth George is one of the most successful writers of crime fiction in the world. Her twelve novels have appeared on bestseller lists in the UK, USA and Australia, and several of them have been dramatised by BBC Television as the "Inspector Lynley Mysteries". She has also written a collection of short stories and edited a crime anthology. Now she shares this wealth of experience with would-be novelists, and with crime fiction fans. Drawing extensively on her own work, and that of other bestselling writers including Stephen King, Harper Lee, Dennis Lehane and many others, she illustrates her points about plotting, characterisation and technique with great clarity. She also includes extracts from her own Journals - the diaries she keeps as writes each of her novels - and these give us an unprecedented insight into the creative mind, with all its highs and lows.

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About the Author:

Elizabeth George is the author of highly acclaimed novels of psychological suspense. Her first novel, A Great Deliverance, was honoured with the Anthony and Agatha Best First Novel awards in America and received the Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere in France; Well-Schooled in Murder was awarded the prestigious German prize for international mystery fiction, the MIMI (1990). Her novels have now been adapted for television by the BBC. An Edgar and Macavity Nominee as well as a New York Times and international bestselling author, Elizabeth George divides her time between California and Kensington, London.

From Publishers Weekly:

Here's a useful book for the novice writer battling the fears and insecurities that attend when she contemplates her first novel. Highly successful as the writer of a dozen novels of suspense (A Place of Hiding, etc.) and a teacher with significant experience, George reveals that those same fears and insecurities still bedevil her. She quickly moves beyond that to a consideration of the craft of writing-mastering the tools and techniques that a writer needs in order to create art. While George illustrates her points with passages from both her own works and those of numerous writers she admires (Martin Cruz Smith, Barbara Kingsolver, Louise Erdrich, Michael Dorris), this remains more of a how-I-do-it book than a how-to-do-it book. Thus George will typically discuss an aspect of writing, such as creating the landscape of a novel, illustrate it with examples from various writers and then show how she approaches it. The result is an informative, instructive and idiosyncratic examination of the structure of the novel and of one writer's rigorously disciplined approach to creating one. George makes clear that writing is a job and that mastering the tools and techniques of the craft can go a long way toward making a writer successful. Finally, she advocates self-discipline, or what Bryce Courtenay (The Power of One) calls "bum glue." As George puts it, "A lot of writing is simply showing up... day after day, same time and same place." Both aspiring writers and fans of George's novels should enjoy the author's insights into the creative process.
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