Happy Birthday, Justine Larbalestier, born 23 September 1967
- Learn how to take criticism. If you want to be a professional writer you’re going to have to learn to take criticism and the sooner you start practising the better!
- Don’t be in too much of a hurry to get published. Learning to write well is the main thing. If you try to publish before you’re ready you can wind up very discouraged. While you’re learning to write you should have fun with it. Try different styles, different genres, mess about, get your hands dirty!
- Read A LOT. Read and read and read and read! Think about what books you like best and try to figure out what it is about the writing that works for you. Then give it a go. Think about what books you hated and try to figure out why the writing was such a disaster. Don’t write like that.
- Do not despair when you are rejected. Welcome to the club. There isn’t a writer in the world who hasn’t been rejected. Many, many times.
- If you have no particular story to tell, then borrow one from someone else. This has worked pretty well for Shakespeare and pretty much every other great writer. The bible is good for plots, as are myths, fairy tales, legends, ballads, pop songs, and crappy movies that didn’t quite work (rewrite them so they do).
- Read a lot. Write a lot. In that order. There are very very few good writers who aren’t also good readers.
Justine Larbalestier is an Australian writer of young adult fiction. She is best known for her 2009 novel, Liar.
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