Faber Session 22 – Linda Grant

Good evening πŸ™‚

Wow, this is weird posting at 7.30 at night lol

Today’s class was with author Linda Grant who’s work has won the Booker prize and been nominated several times.

Linda had some great words of advice, so here are a few of my notes:

Reading is your apprenticeship to becoming a writer. Read indiscriminately, a wide variety of different books.

The thing about writing a book is that you’ve just got to get on with it!

Sometimes, the plot has to be dumped. If the characters are good then just put them somewhere else.

The first novel she wrote was just for fun. the more novels she’s written, the more like pulling teeth it’s become.

Most writers would die before they let anyone see their first draft.

Edit, revise, rewrite, until you are completely sick of it.

If a novel you’re writing just isn’t working, and you’re boring yourself, just abandon it!

She loses faith in a WIP if she has a break from it, so tends to work on one project at a time.

The book is finished when you have exhausted every possibility to make it better.

When asked what motivates her to write, she replied “A determination to write a better novel than the last one.”

This made me think about my own motivation, why do I write? I guess it’s because I love it, and to improve my skills.

Oh, and of course, there was cake involved πŸ˜‰ Two mini cupcakes to be precise!


So what motivates you?

31 thoughts on “Faber Session 22 – Linda Grant

  1. I think I gained four pounds just looking at those cupcakes. I can hardly stand it!

    What motivates me to write: It’s intoxicating. Sketch some characters, a bold line of plot, a subtle shade of setting and suddenly it takes on a life of it’s own and you’re off on a joyride. A top-down, full-on-stars, night-wind-in-hair-with-the-radio-blasting joyride through a world you never even imagined when you began.


  2. Oh wow – those cupcakes! Did you eat them? Thank you for sharing again – I have both abandoned a WIP and used the characters in a new plot, so maybe I’m on the right track! My motivation? I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write and it makes me happy. I really hope that never changes.


  3. I did dump the plot of my first idea for a story. I did take my wonderful characters, added 6 more and put them someplace else. I write because it’s a wonderful escape from real life, I’ve come to enjoy the process and now I’m addicted. If I don’t write for a few days I get grumpy.


  4. Reblogged this on magdalena vandenberg and commented:
    I loved reading this blog posted by Vikki Thompson on The View Outside.
    Pertinent, and true it made me feel like I’m on my way to becoming a writer.
    One point resonated, “Edit, revise, rewrite, until you are completely sick of it.”
    Enjoy reading, and thanks Vikki for sharing


  5. I have lots of reasons to write, escape is one, but I’ve found another to be that I can say things in stories that I can’t seem to articulate any other way.
    Linda Grant makes some great points! I agree with them all except that I usually find myself working on at least two projects at once. I need to be cruising in first draft mode to be happy. πŸ™‚


  6. Thanks to you and Linda for this great post. What motivates me is myself. I have always been a self-starter and believe that the best competition is with yourself for your own benefit and learning. I love to write as much as I love to read. I love to listen as much as I love to talk. And I love silence as much as i love music. Those are what keeps me writing, rewriting, revising and learning πŸ™‚


  7. For once, Vikki, I have nothing to say other than, Linda Grant’s advice is spot on! Brilliant!
    P.S. I do have something to say. If anyone reading todays blog is beginning a career as a writer, print out Linda Grant’s advice, and nail it to the wall in your work area, so you can see it while you write. x xx


  8. Beautiful cupcakes! I think my creativity is mainly inspired by a sense of survival. Life has become so difficult in recent years, if I didn’t create in some way or other, then I’d go crazy and just die. Instead of giving up…I write, bake, craft, and crochet endlessly. If I can ever get all the non-fiction stuff pent up in me, out on paper, then one day I want to give the dreamy side of me a chance to break free. I’d love to write about strong heroines, much stronger than me, making it against all odds and falling hopelessly in love.


    • I’m totally with you on that one CB πŸ™‚

      It reminds me of that saying “Jack of all trades master of none.” I know it’s not exactly the same, but for me, concentrating all my creativity on one thing works better πŸ˜‰



      • I spent the first couple of years of my writing career being ‘Jack’, writing articles and short stories while I was writing my first novel. Articles I liked because I enjoyed the research, and with practice I mastered the art of writing them. Novel I loved, because I could get lost in it. But short stories? I couldn’t give them away. It took me a long time, but eventually I got my act together and decided to concentrate on what I enjoyed most. And from then on I became more successful at novel writing. There are writers who can write novels and short stories equally well. I take off my hat to them. Most of the people I know prefer one medium or the other.


  9. Really interesting post. I agree – the more novels you write, the more it feels like pulling teeth. I especially liked:
    “The book is finished when you have exhausted every possibility to make it better.” Spot on.


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