Monday, 18 March 2019

Casting aside your baggage

How to Write a Book in an Hour, Festival Hub

WELL, I didn’t emerge at the end of an hour with a finished masterpiece, but I did glean as many writing hints and tips as could be packed into a very informative and entertaining 60 minutes!

Edward Docx, author of four novels (the most recent of which, Let Go My Hand, was available to buy after the talk), gave the benefit of his years of experience to a packed Festival Hub.

There were two pieces of general advice that I particularly liked. The first was to take off the “anxiety rucksack” all writers carry around, which is filled with questions such as “Does the world need another novel?” and “Can I write as well as Tolstoy?”

The second was to write a little bit every day. Writing is casting a spell over yourself and if you leave long gaps between writing, you have to recast the spell all over again every time you sit down at your desk.

Edward Docx was an engaging speaker who made the hour fly by, talking in a laid-back style that frequently referenced writers such as Shakespeare and Nabokov while remaining clear and jargon-free.

I was impressed at how he spoke fluently without notes and at how he handled audience questions, giving a question from a younger member of the audience as much consideration as those from the adults, and elegantly answering someone who rather rudely asked who he was.

One of the points mentioned in the talk was that when you are writing a book, you need to open the door and beckon the reader in — and Edward Docx certainly did that with the audience. I’m now off to write my first novel, having thrown my anxiety rucksack into the furthest corner of the room!

Astrid Stevens

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