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Thursday
Oct272016

how does a writer learn?

I used to think a writer learned from other writers by reading a lot and thinking a bit about things after he had read them. I don't think so now. Most books just pass you by.You work out how they 'work'- and that is something, but this is no use to you as a writer, only as a critic. A writer is someone who can write books, not tell you what is wrong with other people's books. In fact several writers I know who are excellent at their trade and successful to boot haven't much of a CLUE what makes a good story or book- but that doesn't matter- they know how to make one.

Bak to learning - you learn instantly from something you admire and are open to. That works, you tell yourself, I'm going to copy that. Of course when you copy it no one can tell because every half decent writer learns early on how to cover their tracks pretty well. But that's the way- BANG- instant knowledge when you SEE something that is right for YOU. Not every book is, but when you find the ones that are, copy mercilessly.

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