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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > September 2016 > Miscellany: The World of Writing

Miscellany: The World of Writing

Hooks, hacks, harking back and getting slack. Just don’t mention the sexy unicorn

Get off to a good start, writers told

Writing advice broadcast by the BBC World Service recalled that the novelist Kingsley Amis once said: ‘The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of one’s trousers to the seat of one’s chair.’

The broadcast continued: ‘Writing a novel may indeed be ten percent inspiration and ninety percent perspiration but we’re here to provide you with a little guidance nonetheless.’

Michèle Roberts ©Graham Jepson/Writer Pictures

The BBC asked Michèle Roberts and Elliot Perlman, ‘two accomplished but very different novelists, to share their secrets and to offer advice on the importance of the opening lines’, telling listeners: ‘You must hook your reader. The tone of the writing should be fresh and distinctive. Create an immediate narrative pull; make the reader want to know “what happens next?”’

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