David Hewson's views on a career in writing

The successful UK thriller/crime novelist David Hewson has just put down his thoughts on making a career in writing for (conventional, commercial) publication. Find them here: https://davidhewson.com/2017/12/28/some-expanded-thoughts-on-a-career-in-writing/#more-17384. Personally I don’t always agree with David Hewson’s views on writing and connected subjects, but I do think this blog post is worth reading if you’re planning or just starting to make your way in a career that you hope could resemble his.

Useful link, thanks.

Glad you found it worthwhile reading, brookter. I think the blog post is full of pithy pieces of relatively obvious but often ignored advice.

I follow him on Twitter and the blog now and then and have all three of his ‘how to’ books — I think he’s consistently one of the most interesting authors speaking about the mechanics of writing. Has a nice no-nonsense approach.

I don’t agree with everything he suggests — actually, more accurately, I don’t think everything he says would suit me personally (Ulysses over Scrivener for example…) — but that’s fine. He’s always interesting to read.

@Hugh - Appreciate the link to the post, good stuff.

@Brookter - Thanks for mentioning that you found his how-to books useful, as I was just considering buying Writing: A User’s Manual.


It’s useful because it takes you through his thought processes as he develops a novel – he doesn’t pretend to have all the answers (unlike some) – and explains the processes and tips which help him.

People who hate planning at all will probably feel it’s too formal, those who love planning in detail will feel it’s a bit loose – but even so I think it’s still a useful read.

Thanks Brookter. Writing something as big as a novel without a plan didn’t work for me, but I have a tendency to grossly over plan and get mired in detailed outlining, character backgrounds, etc. I haven’t figured out quite how to manage that. So maybe in Hewson’s book I’ll find some ideas for a middle ground. :smiley:

Hewson’s not saying anything that other authors in other genres haven’t been saying for quite a long time now, and he’s saying it less usefully with less hard data. What I think is the single most interesting thing is that the changes in the industry are spreading far and high enough it’s even affecting people like Hewson now.

The really smart people saw this coming and already have taken steps to change up their game.