15 Writing Tips from Famous Writers

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Being your best need not be complicated. Receiving writing tips from the writer you most admire would most likely inspire you to be your best. While there are a large number of great authors with great advice out there, here are fifteen of the best writing tips you can implement from famous writers.

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Ian McEwan

“Embrace word processors.” Ian McEwan believes that typing on a word processor is similar to the process of thinking. Rather than writing things out or using a typewriter, you can process your thoughts into your computer, meaning the writing is less permanent. McEwan believes this allows for an easier method of endless reworking of your writing.

Neil Gaiman

“This is how you do it: You sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.” Gaiman suggests that writing should follow the system of putting one foot in front of the other, one of the simplest and most confusing tips from famous authors.

Margaret Atwood

“Stay away from social media.” Many writers loathe distraction, and Margaret Atwood is no different. When she has a project she wishes to complete, Atwood isolates herself until it’s done. During this time, she limits herself to ten minutes of social media a day and keeps a distance from the computer that is connected to the internet.

P.D. James

“Don’t write blind.” Before she starts writing, P.D. James sets out to plan. She ensures that the entire plot of the novel is outlined before she even writes the opening line. While this makes the writing process longer, she believes this helps her create quality fiction that can be better than her closest competitors.

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B.J. Novak

“If you get stuck during a writing project, have yourself a ‘Blue Sky Period.’” Getting writing tips from the man who wrote The Office can be extremely inspirational. Novak’s Blue Sky Period simply refers to the time set aside during which you list every single possibility for your writing.

Ken Follett

“Start writing almost immediately after you wake up.” Ken Follett’s ideas flow best as soon as he wakes up. Your morning routine might result in you losing details or whole ideas. By writing as soon as you wake up, you can preserve the best details from your ideas or dreams.

Friedrich Nietzsche

“Figure out what you want to say.” Nietzsche held the firm belief that writers need to know exactly what they want to say before they even start to write. Much like outlining the plot before you begin, it is important to know where your writing is going before you put pen to paper.

Mark Twain

“Don’t worry too much about originality.” When Twain found out that Helen Keller was accused of plagiarism in her childhood, he wrote her a letter. In the letter, he outlined his belief that all ideas have been had before. Essentially, there are no original ideas, and the very substance of human existence is plagiarism.

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Jane Austen

“Keep your dialog natural.” One of the most helpful tips from writers involves the inclusion of dialog. Often writers struggle to write dialog that seems like ordinary human interaction. Austen suggests trying to keep dialog as natural as possible to help your writing flow better.

H.P. Lovecraft

“Read your idols.” Lovecraft advised writers in 1920 that no amount of writing instruction or literary study can replace what you learn when you read the works of those you admire. When you want to become a good writer, it is important to read novels and poems by those who brought you to writing.

Charlotte Bronte

“Trust your instincts.” Bronte held the belief that writers shouldn’t be dictated to. A writer should not be told to replace one word with another or restructure a sentence to suit a different purpose. Rather, each writer should embrace the muse that inspired them and keep those ideas that they originally wrote.

Joseph Conrad

“Write believably (at least to you).” Conrad believed that when you aim to write, the world you create should be real, at least for the author. By believing in the world you have created, your writing is more likely to flow well and draw in the reader through its creativity.

Thomas Jefferson

“Appreciate the experience.” Jefferson acknowledged that while writing a novel, letter, or short story is difficult and time-consuming, it is also enjoyable. A writer who enjoys the experience and process of writing will write better than he who despises the process.

Ernest Hemingway

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Hemingway’s writing style involves the concept of freewriting. Words should simply flow from you, even if they make no sense at the time. There should be a figurative bleeding of words from your fingers onto the page.

Stephen King

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time – or the tools – to write. Simple as that.” King has not only written almost one hundred books, but he reads at least 70 books a year. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and reading fills up the author’s cup to write.

Conclusion

Many famous writers believe writing is a process of reading for input, and then letting words flow from your mind onto paper. Writing and creating is as much about the journey as the destination. Hopefully, these writing tips can inspire you to put words to paper and embark on your best writing journey yet.