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A Spectator Best Book of the Year


'There are three rules for writing a novel,' Somerset Maugham once said.  'Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.'


So how to bring characters to life, find a voice, kill your darlings, avoid plagiarism (or choose not to), or run that most challenging of literary gauntlets-writing a good sex scene?


Veteran editor and author Richard Cohen takes us on a fascinating excursion into the lives and minds of our greatest writers-from Balzac and Eliot to Woolf and Nabokov, through to Zadie Smith and Stephen King, with a few mischievous detours to Tolstoy along the way. In a glittering tour d'horizon, he lays bare their tricks, motivations, techniques, obsessions and flaws.

Richard Cohen - How to Write Like Tolstoy

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