‘Don’t try to write too much in a single session. One thousand words a day is quite enough. Stop after about four or five hours. Remember that most writing is done in the subconscious (“the boys in the basement,” as Stephen King calls his unseen helpers) and that inspiration is only a posh word for ideas. Pace yourself, get some recreation, avoid tiring yourself out.
Cut your manuscript ruthlessly but never throw anything away: it’s amazing how often a discarded scene or description, which wouldn’t fit in one place, will work perfectly later. Resist the temptation to show off your research (one of Tom Stoppard’s maxims is: Just because it’s true doesn’t mean it’s interesting). Be economical: Noel Coward’s definition of good writing was the art of conveying something in as few words as possible.
Finally: enjoy yourself. “A writer who hates the actual writing,’ Raymond Chandler once observed, “who gets no joy out of the creation of magic by words, to me is simply not a writer at all.” That’s the essence of being a novelist, and if you don’t feel a surge of recognition on reading those words, it might be advisable to do something else.’