Saturday, November 12, 2011
Become aware so that your prose is not self-aware.
Just one piece of general advice from a writer has been very useful to me. It was from Colette. I was writing short stories for Le Matin, and Colette was literary editor at that time. I remember I gave her two short stories and she returned them and I tried again and tried again. Finally she said, ‘Look, it is too literary, always too literary.’ So I followed her advice. It’s what I do when I write, the main job when I rewrite… Adjectives, adverbs, and every word which is there just to make an effect. Every sentence which is there just for the sentence. You know, you have a beautiful sentence — cut it. Every time I find such a thing in one of my novels it is to be cut.