Some advice on the Quick Note of Truth from Elizabeth Jolley

"I am not attempting a self analysis. The household which presented itself to me as both strange and normal encouraged me to observe. My mother was given to moods. Storms blew up unexpectedly, were savage and disappeared again as quickly . I became by nature and circumstance a placator and learned to read every change in the eye, every crease in the brow. I am still a placator. Other people's households, if I am a guest, inadvertently trouble me and in my own house I am not able to work if there is some problem or unhappiness which needs sorting out or comforting. The best time for me to write is when other people are asleep. I am not needed in their dreams. I have developed the habit of writing for some hours during the night, working from the quick notes made during the day.

I cannot explain why I am a fiction writer unless the explanation comes in part from a response to my experience of the world in which I grew up and to the strange new world in which we exist today. I do not maintain that a writer should conceal her private life. What must come first are the words which must not be twisted to fit some preconceived image of the writer. Sometimes what is most important after infancy is the experience which finds expression only in writing. It is the word which is not spoken, the resolve which is not kept which become a part of the created. It is as if these things emerge from hidden pathways in an unexpected form. Writing fiction is not easy for me; to write facts is almost impossible.

There is an excitement in exploring characters and in seeing how they react with each other in different situations. I have always kept diaries and journals ever since I was a child. Lately I have noticed that I do not want to write in the journal because of a feeling that I am encouraging sad thoughts and increasing anxiety by dwelling at length on troublesome things and writing about them. I prefer now to retain the ability to make the quick note of truth and awareness, to notice some small thing about a person, a stranger - perhaps someone choosing knitting wool in the supermarket, something like that - and move into imaginative fiction from the small truthful moment, the little picture, the idea which is so slender it hardly seems to matter. And then suddenly I am exploring human feelings and reasons."
Elizabeth Jolley.

Even More Writing Tips

  • Start a freewriting journal and write down every day what you hear; what you feel (tactile); what you taste; what you smell and what you see.

  • Writers are the greatest at imagining ways of procrastinating. Use your imagination to write stories instead!

  • Join a Writers' Group to help with motivation and writing fellowship. If you can't find a group locally, why not start a writing group?

  • Don't know how to start a writing group?
    Round Table Magic -- A workbook for writers and writing groups will show you how to form your own writing group and provides workshops and exercises to challenge and inspire your imagination and creativity.

    For more Information on Round Table Magic go to: BOOKS
  • Happy Writing,


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