Writers’ quote of the day: Ian Fleming on how to write a thriller

‘I write for about three hours in the morning – from about 9:30 till 12:30 and I do another hour’s work between six and seven in the evening.  At the end of this I reward myself by numbering the pages and putting them away in a spring-back folder.  The whole of this four hours of daily work is devoted to writing narrative.

I never correct anything and I never go back to what I have written, except to the foot of the last page to see where I have got to.  If you once look back, you are lost.  How could you have written this drivel?  How could you have used “terrible” six times on one page?  And so forth.  If you interrupt the writing of fast narrative with too much introspection and self-criticism, you will be lucky if you write 500 words a day and you will be disgusted with them into the bargain.  By following my formula, you write 2,000 words a day and you aren’t disgusted with them until the book is finished, which will be in about six weeks.

I don’t even pause from writing to choose the right word or to verify spelling or a fact.  All this can be done when your book is finished.

When my book is completed I spend about a week going through it and correcting the most glaring errors and rewriting passages.  I then have it properly typed with chapter headings and all the rest of the trimmings.  I then go through it again, have the worst pages retyped and send it off to my publisher.’

~ Ian Fleming

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