15 Writing Tips From Famous Authors That You Need To Know
Every famous author who made it in the writing world was asked this one burning question – ‘do you have any writing tips for aspiring authors?’ We have compiled 15 best writing tips that were shared by famous authors over the years.
Write the story inside of you, bursting to come out
The best advice that an author has given to aspiring writers is this. Often times, we are discouraged from writing our stories because we are terrified of doing a bad job. But if there is a story that you really, really want to read and no one has written it yet – you will be the best person to write it.
Tell your stories
Neil Gaiman’s advice follows on the heels of Toni Morrison’s advice. There is only one person who can tell the story brewing in your head. That is you. The worlds you create in your head, the little details, the quirks of the characters – no one knows it better than you do. Why would you deny the world of knowing the delicious tale brewing inside your head?
And tell the version that belongs to you
If you want to tell a deeply personal story, go right ahead. Nothing should get in the way of you wanting to speak your truth. When you are writing, do not second guess. It shows up in the way you write your stories. Thus, Anne Lamott’s advice is important. If you are writing an unpleasant character who gave you a hard time in fiction, it is okay to paint them as the villain. J.K. Rowling admitted Gilderoy Lockheart was inspired by someone truly unpleasant in her life – and we completely understand that!
Writing anything is better than a blank page
One of the most common pieces of advice that have come our way is that you should try to write something every day. After all, you can edit a poorly written piece and make it better. But you cannot edit a blank page.
Plot your novel first – especially if it’s a crime thriller
Modern writers have abandoned plot in favor of craft, it seems. However, if you are writing a crime thriller or a murder mystery – you need to know where your story is headed in order to avoid writing yourself into a plothole. While a lot of writers have adopted a ‘go-with-the-flow’ approach, having the plot mapped out does decrease a lot of the rework.
Protect your writing time
Most people do not seem to understand how serious writing might be for someone aspiring to become an author. The days that you have set aside for writing, ensure that those days are well-protected. Do not give in if people insist on meeting you by saying you can reschedule your writing time. You wouldn’t ask someone to reschedule a ‘work thing’ – so why should they ask the same from you?
Set aside a time for writing. Everyday.
Once he has the inspiration, Haruki Murakami’s “writing mode for a novel” translates to waking up at 4 am, working 5-6 hours, running 10 kilometers or swimming 1500 meters (or both), reading or listening to music for the rest of the day, and going to bed promptly at 9 pm.
This goes to show he treats writing as a full-time job. Honestly, we need to accept that writing is a serious business. And if you are a writer, let the people in your life know how serious this is for you.
Remember to be ruthless towards your writing too
It is hard. Perhaps a lot harder than you originally imagined it to be. But you have to let go of of a few lines that might not add up in your story. Even if they are the most perfect sentences in the world to you. Save it in another file, and use it for another story.
Creativity exists even when you think it doesn’t
You might convince yourself that you are tapped out and that there are no good ideas. But as Maya Angelou believed, creativity is a constant thing. It is a magical well and it does not run dry. In fact, the more you use it, the more of it you have.
You don’t know the difference you can make
As our young friend had once said, that only in silence does one realize the power of their voices. If there is a story that needs to be told, tell it. You have no idea the impact your story could have on even one person. If your words could help even one soul – isn’t the story worth telling then?
Are there any rules? No one can confirm or deny the claim.
No one really knows what works when it comes to writing a novel. What is a good writing tip for one writer, could be terrible advice for another. Find out what works best for you and eventually, little by little, one page after another, a new story will be born into the world.
Let it go
At some point, you will have to shoot your shot. It will be time to take a step back and see what people think of your writing.
It’s not necessary to write what you know
A popular belief is that one should write what they know. However, Lisa Kleypas has a point. Instead, focus your energy on writing what you would love to read. If you enjoy the content that you are creating, chances are so would other people.
Write complicated characters
While we tend to view the world as black and white, the truth is that the world is shades of grey. Therefore, characters in books need to be the same way. People relate to villains more than the heroes because in reality none are larger than life. Marlon James rightly advices that the characters in stories need to be believable first of all to inspire any kind of emotion.
Please go offline!
Finally, we live in modern times. Our attention spans have only decreased over the years. So, it is easy to be distracted and check our social media, get engrossed in pointless conversations, etc. when we are supposed to be writing. Once your research is done for the piece of your writing, Zadie Smith’s advice comes in handy. Turn off the internet and as William Wordsworth had said – fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.