Elmore Leonard (amerikansk forfatter) har skrevet boken “10 Rules for Writing”.
Mest kjent er han som krimforfatter med sine 42 romaner. Anerkjent for dialogen og miljøskildringen i bøkene sine. De fleste bøkene hans er oversatt til norsk.
The Guardian har tatt opp tråden hans om skriveråd og spurt 28 kjente forfattere om deres personlige råd om skriving – i to artikler, del 1 og del 2. Det er morsom, interssant og nyttig lesing for den som er opptatt av kreative prosesser. Her er noen smakebiter:
If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.
The first 12 years are the worst.
Only bad writers think that their work is really good.
Remember, if you sit at your desk for 15 or 20 years, every day, not counting weekends, it changes you. It just does. It may not improve your temper, but it fixes something else. It makes you more free.
Du finner mange flere råd i artiklene, men du kan jo unne noen flere her:
Don’t drink and write at the same time.
Do change your mind. Good ideas are often murdered by better ones. I was working on a novel about a band called the Partitions. Then I decided to call them the Commitments.
Find your best time of the day for writing and write. Don’t let anything else interfere. Afterwards it won’t matter to you that the kitchen is a mess.
Decide when in the day (or night) it best suits you to write, and organise your life accordingly.
Think with your senses as well as your brain.
Remember there is no such thing as nonsense.
The nearest I have to a rule is a Post-it on the wall in front of my desk saying “Faire et se taire” (Flaubert), which I translate for myself as “Shut up and get on with it.”
Work on a computer that is disconnected from the internet.
Protect the time and space in which you write.
Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.
No alcohol, sex or drugs while you are working.
On Saturdays, you can watch an old Bergman film, preferably Persona or Autumn Sonata.
Treat writing as a job. Be disciplined. Lots of writers get a bit OCD-ish about this. Graham Greene famously wrote 500 words a day. Jean Plaidy managed 5,000 before lunch, then spent the afternoon answering fan mail. My minimum is 1,000 words a day – which is sometimes easy to achieve, and is sometimes, frankly, like shitting a brick, but I will make myself stay at my desk until I’ve got there, because I know that by doing that I am inching the book forward. Those 1,000 words might well be rubbish – they often are. But then, it is always easier to return to rubbish words at a later date and make them better.