Australian author John Marsden wrote the critically acclaimed Tomorrow, When the War Began Series and The Ellie Chronicles. He shares his insight with us.
Q: What is your method for overcoming writer’s block?
A: Someone once said that the most important part of the writer's anatomy is the bum. I agree with that! Forcing yourself to sit at a desk and making yourself write a few hundred words each day is the only way I know to counter writer's block.
Q: What are your favorite or most helpful writing prompts?
A: The two most powerful mottos I have for myself when I write are "Name everything", and "Every sentence should have entertainment value." The second one is self-explanatory; the first one means that it's important to be specific, to provide detail. Not "The car went down the street," but "The old green Ford Mustang drove down Nixon Avenue."
Q: What is the most valuable advice you received as a young writer?
A: I can't provide an example of a pithy piece of advice I received, but my Australian publisher, James Fraser of Macmillan Books, made me realise the importance of understanding the whole publishing industry. So I visited the warehouse and watched how they stored and packed books, I talked to editors and publicists, I met with the marketing people and the sales reps, and I chatted with lots of bookshop owners. I feel this gave me much more confidence as an author.