The writer’s alphabet P-R

A to ZIf you’ve been following my writer’s alphabet so far, you’ll know it’s intended to be a handy catalogue of suggestions for creative writers. It’s not a list of rules (in any case, rules are made to be broken). But it might just give you a jolt when you need it.

Up to now I’ve been playing it safe, telling you all about the craft of writing: parts of speech and dialogue attribution and why you should let your characters live and breathe for themselves. But real creativity requires more than just craft. It needs just a dash of madness. Hold tight – this could get messy.

P is for Panic

Panic is an essential part of creativity. Every writer who’s faced the yawning abyss of the empty page knows this. The empty page tells you that you’re out of ideas, that you’ve lost what little talent you had, that you’re all washed up. Every artist experiences this, whatever medium they’re working in. Embrace the panic. Make it your bedfellow. Without the panic, neither prose nor poetry will come. The panic is part of you, whether you like it or not.

Q is for Quite

This is by way of a warning. The word quite has no place in your writing, neither textually nor conceptually. Don’t write something quite good, write something extraordinary. Don’t be quite emotional, rip your reader’s heart to shreds. Don’t be quite committed to your craft, live and breathe everything everything it demands of you.

R is for Revolutionary

Everything’s been done. No story is unique. But you are. So write in a way that only you can write. Tell your story in a way that only you can tell it. Rebel. Refuse to conform. Find your voice and use it. Start the revolution.

Tomorrow: S,T & U

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