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Writers In Black and White

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Children’s author Elizabeth Laird, for example, believes that too many writers try to write another Harry Potter or Agatha Christies instead of being their own original selves. ‘Usually I start with a strong feeling,’ she says, ‘which then leads into a story. ‘It might be jealousy, it might be anger, or courage, or the power of love. Then I build the characters up and flesh things out from there.’

But what makes a book successful? Joanne Harris, famous for Chocolat, believes that: ‘Books find their own readers.’ She never tries to predict who her readers will be, nor how many there will be, but she argues that: ‘Sales departments still live under the delusion that women like to read about women.’

But let’s go back to Minette Walters for some wise words about grammar: ‘If editors are faced by a load of mistakes… they immediately get a sense that a person isn’t up to standard.’

 

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