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“I have advice for people who want to write. I don’t care whether they’re 5 or 500. There are three things that are important: First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think about things, what you think is fair and what you think is unfair. And second, you need to read. You can’t be a writer if you’re not a reader. It’s the great writers who teach us how to write. The third thing is to write. Just write a little bit every day. Even if it’s for only half an hour — write, write, write.” ― Madeleine L’Engle

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‘If you allow your people to talk, they will express themselves in a way that the writer might not have thought of.’
Joyce Carol Oates is the critically acclaimed author of over forty novels including The Falls and We Were the Mulvaneys. In this video recorded by fora.tv, Oates discusses how a writer can develop realistic characters, using examples from her 2007 novel The Gravedigger’s Daughter. She also outlines a useful creative writing exercise that she provides her students.


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