Friday, May 1, 2009
Listening to a professional talk passionately about their craft is a real joy. And that's what I took away from Tim Hallinan's hour-long workshop on writing at ACE last night, as well as a list of top tips to enthuse and guide would-be authors. Hallinan is a thriller writer who lives in Los Angeles and Bangkok, is writing a series of books about both locations, and who also spends time in Phnom Penh, where he says he can write without distraction. He's written over twenty novels, so he knows what he's talking about. And he is not afraid of dissecting his craft and passing it onto others in a way that is easy to understand. He does this through workshops like last night, he also teaches and his website is a fantastic resource for any writer too. If you are writing a novel now, thinking about writing or, like me, dabbles in writing but have never considered penning your own novel, have a look at his website and catch the buzz, I know I have. His words of wisdom are not restricted to novels either, they can be applied across the range of writing. Hallinan is also a workoholic, he takes a year to write a novel on average of about 100,000 words in length, but will be working on two others at the same time. He targets himself to write 2,000 words each day and says that he has good days and bad days. His own style is not to outline the book beforehand but to fly by the seat of his pants and let his characters decide on where they want to go. He admits his latest novel is giving him sleepless nights, but will get there eventually. I found his lecture fascinating, it opened a series of small doors for me personally and is a brilliant idea by Monument Books' William Bagley to get writers of his calibre to pass on their skill and knowledge to the budding authors of Phnom Penh. To read more about Tim Hallinan and his writing resources, click here. The book jacket above is A Nail Through The Heart and the first in the series of Hallinan's Bangkok novels. I am reading it right now.