Write What You Need to Write: Tips from P.D. James

P.D. James

P.D. James

  1. Increase your word power. Words are the raw material of our craft. The greater your vocabulary the more effective your writing. We who write in English are fortunate to have the richest and most versatile language in the world. Respect it.
  2. Read widely and with discrimination. Bad writing is contagious.
  3. Don’t just plan to write—write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.
  4. Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.
  5. Open your mind to new experiences, particularly to the study of other people. Nothing that happens to a writer—however happy, however tragic—is ever wasted.

From Wikipedia:
Phyllis Dorothy James, Baroness James of Holland Park, OBE, FRSA, FRSL (born 3 August 1920), commonly known as P. D. James, is an English crime writer and a life peer in the House of Lords. She is most famous for a series of detective novels starring policeman and poet Adam Dalgliesh.

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5 thoughts on “Write What You Need to Write: Tips from P.D. James

  1. The thing about bad writing is that it’s addictive, like trash tv. I admit the trick is to be discriminating, but even so, there’s nowt quite like chuckling along to a ‘good’ Jeffrey Archer.

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