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DEE Shipman & PAUL Jacobs


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I could also make up ‘what if?’ stories…..I’ve recently thought that no writer would ever kill someone, unless it was an unpremeditated crime of passion, because we have no need to find out what it’s like…we explore in our heads all the ‘what ifs’ of situations, relationships, of the most fantastic or the darkest possibilities imaginable…..then we write them out of us!

Those who can’t do this might well be driven to actually trying them for real!

Anyway, that’s MY belief!

I also believe writers live dual lives – inside and outside – and different parts of our personalities take over at different times in each. Maybe this is what Fay is intuiting when she is aware of who is a writer and who isn’t.After all, we cannot NOT communicate, even without words. Perhaps it’s the dissociation that shows; the observer, the reporter, looks out through the writer’s eyes, from where they live inside their head.

There’s a reluctance to ‘come outside’, yet an eagerness, once out, to talk, to share; because writing is a solitary occupation, and because we writers feel more at home INSIDE, where only we know everyone, speak the language…and can create the world as we decree!

Maybe all this is what constantly fascinates and attracts non-writers, and makes them want it for themselves. Plus a ‘gut’ need for the ability to express their deepest, core, states: to enable and empower them to establish rapport at the finest level….TO NOT BE ALONE..

Perhaps that’s what writing is really about. Or, again, is that only my belief!?

Bryan Forbes believes writing, like acting, is “a career of rejection”. On the other hand John Lennon said “I put things down on sheets of paper and stuff them in my pockets. When I have enough, I have a book”. Then again, Red Smith described writing as “…Easy. I just open a vein and bleed”.

As to there being any rules for writing, Somerset Maugham said “There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no-one knows what they are!”. I go along with Janet Evanovitch….”This (writing) is the best thing in the world to do”.

Although it was originally Paul who was so curious about writing, and writers, over the months leading up to starting work on this book it had become my need to know as well. So we interviewed some of the best writers in the world, across a wide spectrum of specialties – novelists, journalists, screenwriters, travel writers, poets, childrens’ authors, and so on – to discover what are their similarities, what are the differences that make the difference; in other words……


And presupposing that if one person can do something well, by modelling their excellence you can also learn to do it, this book will actually show you how.

But why another book about writing when so many good informative ones already exist?

Well, most creative writing books and courses identify the external techniques: we have found a way to elicit what is actually going on INSIDE the head, and it’s this which we have used in interviewing writers for our book.

If we are what we think, it shows not only in our creations, but also in our bodies, our voices, our eye movements. Perhaps these were how Fay was able to ‘see’ who is or isn’t a writer.

It has been an enlightening journey for us, one which we are about to share now with you: a journey to explore the inner worlds of successful writers, to elicit and model their strategies, their excellence.

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