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The Five Rules of Writing
All writers have rules they swear by – or love to break. In this series of podcasts, writers discuss the “always”, “nevers” and “only in emergencies” of producing the work in which they are expert.
Episode 12 – French novelist Jean-Baptiste Andrea on how to write that difficult second novel
Film director, screenwriter and bestselling French author Jean-Baptiste Andrea, on writing his second novel One Hundred Million Years and a Day, one of Strong Words’ 20 best books of 2020.
Episode 11 – Author and journalist Pete Paphides on how to write about childhood
Music writer and author Pete Paphides, whose autobiography Broken Greek describes the vital role played by the Top 40 in his formative years, discusses his seven (!) rules of writing about one’s own infancy.
Episode 10 – Tom Holland on how to write riveting ancient history
Ancient historian Tom Holland, author of bestselling works on Julius Caesar, the first Roman emperors, Persia in its imperial pomp and a history of Christianity, on turning the remote past into a gripping read.
Episode 9 – Dr Gillian O’Brien on studying Ireland’s history via its sites of “dark tourism.”
Dr Gillian O’Brien, historian and author of the superb “The Darkness Echoing,” on her “dark tourism” itinerary of Ireland’s “places of famine, death and rebellion.”
Episode 8 – Words and picture sisters Scarlett and Sophie Rickard on making stunning graphic novels
In episode 8 of The Five Rules of Writing, Scarlett and Sophie Rickard describe how they turned Robert Tressell’s “intimidating” Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists into a dazzling page-turner of a graphic novel.
Episode 7 – Journalist and author Dylan Jones on the art of interviewing for an oral biography
In episode 7 of The Five Rules of Writing, Dylan Jones, the GQ editor and author of entire libraries on music, politics and culture, provides instruction for those wondering how to write an oral biography.
Episode 6 – Horror king Matt Wesolowski on how to write supernaturally-tinged crime
In episode 6 of the Five Rules of Writing, Matt Wesolowski, creator of the “Six Stories” brand of podcast-as-novel ultra-creepiness, on how to scare your readers witless.
Episode 5 – Cultural inspector David Hepworth on how to write rock history
In episode 5 of the Five Rules of Writing, David Hepworth, the journalist, broadcaster and writer of several bestselling volumes on how rock music changed the world, shares his views on how it’s done. You won’t be needing a chair.
Episode 4 – Thriller novelist Sabine Durrant on generating exquisite tension
In episode 4 of The Five Rules of Writing, Sabine Durrant, a masterful creator of unnerving domestic tension, sheds a little light on her techniques, including a superb method for surprising yourself.
Episode 3 – Crime writer Mark Billingham on writing at the darker end of the spectrum
In episode 3 of The Five Rules of Writing, novelist Mark Billingham shares some of the keys to writing bestselling crime stories around calculating psychopaths, including the need to keep your killer in plain sight, and the correct number of twists permitted per plot.
Episode 2 – Novelist Anthony Quinn on writing a love letter to Jürgen Klopp
In episode 2 of The Five Rules of Writing, novelist and Liverpool FC obsessive Anthony Quinn talks about how he set aside his fiction writing toolkit to compose an appreciation of Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp, even going as far as to sit through press conferences in German, a language which he doesn’t speak.
Episode 1 – Tammy Cohen on writing novels as two people