"Read non-fiction. History, biology, entomology, mineralogy, paleontology. Get a bodyguard and do fieldwork. Find your inner fish. Don't publish too soon. Not before you have read Thomas Mann in any case. Learn by copying, sentence by sentence some of the masters. Copy Coetzee's or Sebald's sentences and see what happens to your story. Consider creative non-fiction if you want to stay in South Africa. It might be the way to go. Never neglect back and hamstring exercises, otherwise you won't be able to write your novel. One needs one's buttocks to think."

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Marlene van Niekerk

#Writing #Exercise #Thinking

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