Skip to Content

'Treat every story like a crime scene.'

11 October 2015

'Read voraciously and read forensically, whether it's stories you admire or stories you detest. There is a lesson in every one, tricks to steal, potholes to avoid. Treat every story like a crime scene. Take it to pieces. How many adverbs are there? How much does the narrator know? How long are the sentences? How detailed is the description of the physical world..? Because those are precisely the questions you have to answer when you're writing yourself, and if you can't read with that kind of focus it will be impossible to write with that kind of focus.'

Mark Haddon, nominated for the 2015 BBC Short Story Award for Bunny.