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Lishman told me that his PhD supervisor gave him a book to read on the topic of “how to write” fiction. He said that after reading the book, he felt like he couldn’t write at all.

It didn’t sound very good.

I looked it up, then I read some of the reviews. Here’s a comment from one reader:

“He [the author] says that it is only those who have attended university who can become great writers. If you want to produce fiction that stands the test of time, take a university course.”

If he did say that (and other reviewers note the same point), I think the correct response is to quietly put down the book and never open it again.


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