To celebrate the fact an unpublished James Bond story is about to come to life, let’s dive into a few writing tips from Bond creator Ian Fleming.
In a 1963 essay, Fleming offered the following:
- You must know thrilling things before you can write about them. The stories you hear from friends or read in the paper can be built by imagination and research into incidents that will ring true in fiction.
- Write in drab, anonymous surroundings; your lack of friends and distractions will create a vacuum that should force you into a writing mood.
- Keep to a strict routine. Ian wrote from about 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and then did another hour’s work between 6 and 7 p.m.
- Never correct anything and never go back to what you have written, except to the foot of the last page to see where you have gotten to. Don’t even pause to choose the right word or to verify spelling or a fact; all this can be done when your book is finished.
And why, according to Ian, should we pursue a writerly life?
Writing makes you more alive to your surroundings and, since the main ingredient of living, though you might not think so to look at most human beings, is to be alive, this is quite a worthwhile by-product of writing.