Write Away – Advice From Elizabeth George

All about historical fiction

Elizabeth George writes mysteries, intricately plotted, full of rogues and oh-so-human heroes, set in wild or innocent corners of England. Her words hook you as soon as you read the first page. When I purchased her book, Write Away, I thought, what a great person to learn from.

Write Away Five ElementsI distilled her suggestions into five essential points (see diagram) with notes to augment each point. Although George presents them in sequence, the diagram shows them in a circle because that’s how I think of them – interconnected aspects of a work of fiction.

  1. Story is Character, bullets remind me that I must understand my characters’ core needs and the pathology of their actions when these needs are thwarted, unique episodes from the past that have shaped them, their sexuality and their burning desires.
  2. To remind me that Setting is Story I have listed atmosphere, landscape, landscape of the person and internal landscape. George…

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8 thoughts on “Write Away – Advice From Elizabeth George

  1. This is the first time I’ve re-blogged something and I had trouble trying to make changes at the beginning of the post. Specifically I wanted to mention what a well-written post my friend, Mary Tod, has written here and secondly I wanted to tell a little story about meeting Mary.
    There I was stepping on to the elevator in the magnificent hotel where the Historical Novel Society Denver Conference was held this past June and the one person already on the elevator asked, “Are you Elaine Cougler?” Imagine my thrill at being recognized so far from home. Mary and I connected a few times over that weekend. What a wonderful by-product of going to conferences.
    Anyhow, thanks to Mary for this amazing blog post which I know my readers will like. Enjoy!


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