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Anne Enright’s 10 Rules For Writing Fiction

Anne Enright’s 10 Rules For Writing Fiction


In this post, we share Irish author, Anne Enright’s 10 rules for writing fiction.

Anne Enright is an is an Irish writer. She has published half a dozen novels, many short stories and a non-fiction work called Making Babies: Stumbling into Motherhood. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Her writing explores ‘themes such as angels, family, love, childbirth, motherhood, the Catholic Church and the female body shape’.

Her writing is described as ‘brutally honest, cynical and sometimes disturbing, but nonetheless delivered with her trademark deadpan humour, along with moments where real love and healing shine through and lift the darkness’.

Her novel The Gathering won the 2007 Man Booker Prize.

She was born 11 October 1962.

Anne Enright’s 10 Rules For Writing Fiction

  1. The first 12 years are the worst.
  2. The way to write a book is to actually write a book. A pen is useful, typing is also good. Keep putting words on the page.
  3. Only bad writers think that their work is really good.
  4. Description is hard. Remember that all description is an opinion about the world. Find a place to stand.
  5. Write whatever way you like. Fiction is made of words on a page; reality is made of something else. It doesn’t matter how “real” your story is, or how “made up”: what matters is its necessity.
  6. Try to be accurate about stuff.
  7. Imagine that you are dying. If you had a terminal disease would you ­finish this book? Why not? The thing that annoys this 10-weeks-to-live self is the thing that is wrong with the book. So change it. Stop arguing with yourself. Change it. See? Easy. And no one had to die.
  8. You can also do all that with whiskey.
  9. Have fun.
  10. 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.

Source: The Guardian /Source for image: Irish Examiner

 by Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this, you will love:

  1. Joseph Finder’s 8 Tips For Writers
  2. Michael Morpurgo’s 10 Rules For Writers
  3. Graham Greene’s Writing Process
  4. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 7 Tips For Writing Fiction
  5. Martin Amis’s 16 Rules For Writers
  6. Orson Scott Card On Building An Audience
  7. Jonathan Franzen’s 10 Rules For Writing Fiction
  8. Sue Monk Kidd’s 10 Most Helpful Writing Tips
  9. Writing Advice From The World’s Most Famous Authors

TOP TIP: If you want to learn how to write a book, sign up for our online course or join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg.

This article has 1 comment

  1. JE Flanagan

    Such an amazing list. 8 is my favourite but the first gives me the most hope.

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