Writing Tips from Great Writers

Writing advice is everywhere. The question is finding what works best for your craft. First, there is advice on the physical practice:

Jose Saramago: I do require a certain amount of written work per day, which usually corresponds to two pages. Two pages per day adds up to almost eight hundred per year.

Raymond Carver: Get in, get out. Don’t linger. Go on.

Ernest Hemingway: Always stop for the day while you still know what will happen next.

Writing Tips from Great Writers

And then there is advice on what you are writing.

Toni Morrison: Don’t record and editorialize on some event that you’ve already lived through.

Kurt Vonnegut: Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.

Ian Fleming: Make sure that you don’t like your protagonist too much – or at all.

Writing Tips from Great Writers

Finally, there is the broader advice, how to understand exactly what you are doing.

Joan Didion: Quite often you want to tell somebody your dream, your nightmare. Well, nobody wants to hear about someone else’s dream, good or bad; nobody wants to walk around with it. The writer is always tricking the reader into listening to the dream.

Alice Munro: There should be a point where you say, the way you would with a child, this isn’t mine anymore.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: I think honest feedback is very important. But it’s also hard to find. Other writers can be useful, also they can not, because they’re doing the same thing, and sometimes they want you to become like them.

Writing Tips from Great Writers

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