Monday, December 15, 2014

Writing Tips from Master Writers

The Gotham Writers website has a nice page of writing tips from more than 20 master writers. Many of them are inspirational: P. D. James says,  "Open your mind to new experiences, particularly to the study of other people. Nothing that happens to writershowever happy, however tragicis ever wasted." Some are revelatory: Kurt Vonnegut says, "Start as close to the end as possible," and Jack Kerouac says, "Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition." Others are challenging: Elmore Leonard recommends, "Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip." Some are practical: Zadie Smith tells us to, "Leave a decent space of time between writing something and editing it," and Annie Proulx says, "Develop craftsmanship through years of wide reading." Still others are hypocritical: one of my favorite authors, George Orwell, says in 13 words, "If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out," when he could have said it in 8 ("If you can cut a word, then do") or even 3 ("Cut needless words"). 

Happy reading!