Seeking writing tips to help you finish a novel? If you’re feeling hung up by writer’s block or suffering from a lack of inspiration, it’s helpful to know some of the most acclaimed writers felt similar at one time or another. Receiving advice from other wordsmiths can be invaluable. Here are 3 writing tips from some of the greatest authors.
3 Tips for Writers from Famous Authors
- Don’t Be Afraid of the Rules
“Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.” –Ernest Hemingway
Grammar, spelling and punctuation are necessary for written communication, but focusing on little details while you write isn’t always the best way to let your story come to life. Take some advice from famous authors and write as much as you can before going back to edit small mistakes.
“Let grammar, punctuation, and spelling into your life! Even the most energetic and wonderful mess has to be turned into sentences.” –Terry Pratchett
- Write from the Heart
“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” –Elmore Leonard
A piece of writing should be relatable to readers, which means the author’s experiences are crucial. Write directly from your heart and write what you know; your readers will welcome the invitation into your soul.
“Fiction that isn’t an author’s personal adventure into the frightening or the unknown isn’t worth writing for anything but money.” – Jonathan Franzen
- Show, Don’t Tell
“You rely on a sentence to say more than the denotation and the connotation; you revel in the smoke that the words send up.” –Toni Morrison
A good piece of writing leads readers through a story and describes what they see along the way. Focus on explaining the characters and their surroundings rather than telling the readers what they are doing.
“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” –Anton Chekhov
Embracing style and grammar, writing directly from your experiences and showing rather than telling are all excellent tips for writers from famous authors. Do you have any other writing advice you’ve found helpful? Please share in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn