Wednesday, December 07, 2011

John Creasey: "Could you write more?"

DVD of Gideon's Way 
TV series, 1960s
Among the gems in Writing Detective and Mystery Fiction (ed. A. S. Burack, 1945) is John Creasey's "Could You Write More?". He should know; it's estimated that Creasey (1908–73) published upward of 500 books. His works include the Gideon series, including Gideon's Day (1955)— important novels in the evolution of the police procedural.

In the piece Creasey states, "Nine out of ten writers, I am sure, could write more" (139) and provides 15 rules to show how this may be accomplished. Here is a sample (pp. 141–42):

• "Rule 1. Work to rule, not to mood. Work through moods."

• "Rule 4. Drill yourself to acquire neatness and system at the desk. Everyone can."

"Rule 6.  Be punctual. If you were going to an office to work for a boss, you would be. So be your own boss."

"Rule 9. Do your research after you have written your story and not before. . . .You will be surprised about how much you know about your subject . . . and this will enable you to write practically all you need to write. But some of your facts will need checking. This can be done easily, and you will know exactly what you are looking for."


Karen J. said...

Great advice for any creative or freelancer!

Elizabeth Foxwell said...

Creasey's full 15 rules are worth reading and preserving.