Sunday, November 30, 2014

20 Writing Tips from Famous Authors

Article by Teri Saya

Here are 20 famous writers, each with their own inspiring and sometimes witty point of view on writing. 

Tip 1:  "What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks, 'the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.' And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try... When I'm writing, I write. And then it's as if the muse is convinced I'm serious and says, 'Ok. ok. I'll come.'" Maya Angelou ~

Tip 2:  "Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you."  ~Zadie Smith~

Tip 3:  "Introduce your main characters and themes in the first third of your novel. If you are writing a plot-driven genre novel make sure all your major themes/plot elements are introduced in the first third, which you can call the introduction. Develop your themes and characters in your second third, the development. Resolve your themes, mysteries and so on in the final third, the resolution."  ~ Michael Moorcock ~

Tip 4:  "In the planning stage of a book, don't plan the ending. It has to be earned by all that will go before it."  ~ Rose Tremain ~

Tip 5:  "Never use a long word where a short one will do. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. Never use the passive where you can use the active."   ~ George Orwell ~

Tip 6:  “Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very;' your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” ~ Mark Twain ~

Tip 7:  "If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others; read a lot and write a lot. If you don't have time to read, you don't have time, or the tools to write. Simple as that."  ~ Stephen King ~

Tip 8:  "Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, your doomed." ~ Ray Bradbury ~

Tip 9:  "Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass."  ~ Anton Chekhov ~

Tip 10:  "Every sentence must do one of two things - reveal character or advance the action." ~ Kurt Vonnegut ~ 

Tip 11:  "Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own jokes."  ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald ~

Tip 12:  "Don't panic. Midway through writing a novel, I have regularly experienced moments of bowel-curdling terror, as I contemplate the drivel on the screen before me and see beyond it, in quick succession, the derisive reviews, the friends' embarrassment, the failing career, the dwindling income, the repossessed house, the divorce . . . Working doggedly on through crises like these, however, has always got me there in the end. Leaving the desk for a while can help. Talking the problem through can help me recall what I was trying to achieve before I got stuck. Going for a long walk almost always gets me thinking about my manuscript in a slightly new way. And if all else fails, there's prayer."  ~ Sarah Waters ~

Tip 13:  "Always carry a note-book. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever. Also, the writing life is essentially one of solitary confinement – if you can't deal with this you needn't apply."  ~ Will Self ~ 

Tip 14:  "Be your own editor/critic. Sympathetic but merciless!"  ~ Joyce Carol Oates ~

Tip 15: "My advice is the same to all. If you want to be a writer, write. Write and write and write. If you stop, start again. Save everything that you write. If you feel blocked, write through it until you feel your creative juices flowing again. Writing is what makes a writer, nothing more and nothing less. Ignore critics. Critics are a dime a dozen. Anybody can be a critic. Writers are priceless. Go where the pleasure is in your writing. Go where the pain is. Write the book you would like to read. Write the book you have been trying to find but have not found. But write. And remember, there are no rules for our profession. Ignore rules. Do it your own way. Every writer knows fear and discouragement. Just write." ~ Anne Rice ~

Tip 16: "A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it" ~ Edgar Allen Poe ~

Tip 17: "The secret of writing is to get started, and in order to get started you need to break the complex, overwhelming task of writing into small manageable tasks. Then you simply get going with the first task."  ~ Anne Lamott ~

Tip 18:  "Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page a day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, your always surprised."  ~ John Steinbeck ~

Tip 19:  "The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you're allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it's definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter."  ~ Neil Gaiman ~

Tip 20:  "I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide."  ~ Harper Lee ~

No comments:

Post a Comment