The Authors’ Post-War Guide

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Here’s another of the books I’ve unearthed from charity shops. The ‘Authors’ Post-War Guide’ – published in 1947 – is packed full of handy hints for modern authors. Every page has a new gem. Refreshingly for a writing guide, Lawrence G. Green feels the first thing new authors must learn is “to become extremely suspicious and critical.”

Other nuggets include the useful facts that “Women like reading about jewellery”, and “Sharks have always treated me kindly”. I also like this passage, designed to help focus the mind when writing:

“Put the cat out. For this serious purpose the cat is merely a symbol. The cat may be your wife or child.”

…though it pales when compared to this advice:

“No liquor, no Benzedrine, no coffee. You can have a glass of water if you like. If you smoke, have lots of cigarettes.”

…which almost makes me want to start smoking. The “writing game” seems a lot simpler in 1947.

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