The only writing tip you’ll need from Man Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton

Huge congratulations to Kiwi Eleanor Catton for becoming the youngest person to win the Man Booker Prize.  Holy hell. What an achievement. And what a humble speech. You’ll be surfing on a rainbow right about now.

Recently, when I was struggling to string a sentence together in my new children’s novel I found a great quote from Eleanor which stuck. ‘If a book starts off funny,’ a thesis supervisor once told her, ‘It has to get funnier; if it starts off weird, it has to get weirder, if it starts off sad, it has to get sadder. Like all good advice it seems pretty straightforward at first glance, but I came to realise that having to trump oneself means having to outwit oneself, and that’s actually really difficult.’

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