My definition of writerly heaven? A dozen of us in a room with Booker Prize-winning author, Ben Okri. His 10 Truths About Writing changed my world. Maybe they’ll change yours too?
- Much can be learned and much can be changed
- Think and write about the things that are not on the page
- Plant ideas, evoke, but only show the tip of the iceberg
- Avoid the words that are easy to say; train yourself to be an indirect thinker
- A detail can represent the whole
- Just a few lines and a whole tribe comes into existence
- Formless writing is irritative
- An idea brings with it its complete universe, but manifests itself in a thousand different ways, depending on your mood on the day
- The world is rich with possibility
- Read Chekov
Want to know more? Here’s a Verve Magazine article I wrote about Okri’s master class.
Thank you Paula Morris for inviting Ben Okri to our University of Auckland Master of Creative Writing class. Thank you Ben Okri for saying yes. Thank you Auckland Writers Festival for getting him to New Zealand. Lucky, lucky us.
I love number 8 – it reminds me of how there are a million songs, books, essays, poems, and films about love, but they are all different in their own way.
You’ve got me thinking what my fav one is. Number 4: avoid the words that are easy to say. This is the hardest, but the most helpful. Caroline x