Writing advice from Bernadine Evaristo

Bernadine Evaristo won the Booker Prize in 2019 for her novel Girl, Woman, Other about 12 primarily black British women. She was the first black woman to win this prize, which has been running since 1969. Prior this this she had received a host of awards and acknowledgements for her writing.

Evaristo has spoken candidly about race and gender discrimination and the arts. Recently, as in this month, she became the first black woman in history to top the UK’s fiction charts (alongside Reni Eddo-Lodge who was the first black woman to top the UK nonfiction charts for her book Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race.)

Today’s advice is about character: where you can source characters from, writing about people you know, choosing your point of view, and how characters can help your story emerge.

And a little bonus – when asked what the best writing advice she’d ever received was she replied: “To give my characters goals and obstacles to them. This creates tension and conflict—the life blood of fiction.”

2 thoughts on “Writing advice from Bernadine Evaristo

  1. Hi Jen, I’m loving your blog posts with writing tips! I sw the LRC newsletter and thought they could be a lovely resource to go up on the new members platform?

    I hope you are keeping well xx


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