Saturday, March 16, 2013

Five Writing Tips from Blake Bailey

One way or another, Blake Bailey has thought a lot about writing. His biographies of famous writers have thus far gotten him a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Book Critics Circle Award, the Francis Parkman Prize, and nominations for the Pulitzer and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.

Bailey has written about Cheever, Yates and last fall, Philip Roth told the New York Times that Bailey was at work on his biography. Meanwhile, Bailey’s own newest book is Farther & Wilder: The Lost Weekends and LIterary Dreams of Charles Jackson, out next week from Knopf.

With all this writing and thinking about writers and writing, it only makes sense that Bailey might have put together some strong opinions, and he has. Writing for Publishers Weekly, Bailey sends out Five Writing Tips. His reasons are all in-depth and can be seen here. Until you get there, here are the highlights:

1. Write about things that really interest you.
2. Be quiet and listen.
3. Action is character.
4. Be prepared.
5. If possible, be funny.

See the full piece here.



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