Friday, October 19, 2007

advice for writers from the late alan coren to his son

from today's telegraph:

"“When I was about 11 and doing creative writing at school,” Giles recalled, “I would always go to my dad and say, 'What shall I write?’.

“He would always say, 'Whatever the first thing is that comes into your head, don’t write that because that’s what everyone will write. When the second idea comes into your head, don’t write that either because that’s what the bright kids will write. Wait for the third idea, because that’s the one that only you will do”."

alan coren, a humorist i admired greatly, died today. condolences to his family, friends and fans.

times obit
"The son of a plumber, he was born in North London in 1938 with, as the New Statesman put it, “a silver spoof in his mouth”"

from the grauniad
"Coren, as an editor of Punch, presided over an office that was often filled with laughter. This was especially so at the weekly formal lunches, which gathered together the prominent people of the day - he also had a useful trick of tearing a London telephone directory in two, a genetic gift, he claimed, that he had inherited from a circus strongman grandfather."

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