Career City Underground-Fiction Writing-Face Full of Story

You want to learn how to write? It’s easy.
Read everything.
Watch everything.
Listen to everything.
You’ll find favourite texts, styles that jibe with yours. My first was Ed Mcbain’s 87th Precinct novels. They’re a huge, decades-long series about homicide cops in a fictional US city and they influenced every major police procedural TV show for the last thirty years. Mcbain had this amazing habit of throwing a brilliant, rabbit punch of a first line at you. Drops you straight into the scene like an ice bath, gets you awake and focused and shellshocked all at once.
I tried to emulate it for about three years. Never did. But it did teach me how to write a good opening scene and how to show character through dialogue and speech pattern.
That’s what you’re going to do. Put your favourites on the operating table and pull them apart to see how they work. Then you’ll copy them, badly.
Then you’ll copy them less badly.
Then well.
Then you’ll find the next one.
We’re all patchwork creatures of influence and bias. Writers even more so. Learn to revel in that and you’ll learn how to be a good writer so much faster.

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