30 Tips on Writing from Famous Authors

(reposted from BuzzFeed)

1. Ernest Hemingway

2. Toni Morrison

3. Kurt Vonnegut

4. Stephen King

5. Saul Bellow

6. Neil Gaiman

7. F. Scott Fitzgerald

8. Maya Angelou

9. Neil Gaiman

10. George Orwell

11. Ernest Hemingway

12. Henry Miller

13. Elmore Leonard

14. John Steinbeck

15. Annie Dillard

16. Edgar Allen Poe

17. Mark Twain

18. T.S. Eliot

19. James Patterson

20. Ralph Waldo Emerson

21. Elmore Leonard

22. Ray Bradbury

23. Erica Jong

24. E.L. Doctorow

25. G. K. Chesterton

26. Stephen King

27. Anton Chekhov

28. Gertrude Stein

29. John Steinbeck

30. Toni Morison

11 Responses to “30 Tips on Writing from Famous Authors”
  1. I can say I have read the works each of these authors and getting a bit of advice from them is fantastic.

    • Jess Smart Smiley says:

      That’s so great to hear! I’ve read all except for Doctorow, Chekhov, Leonard and Jong. It’s that Henry Miller statement that really gets me: “When you can’t create you can work.”

      • Jess Smart Smiley says:

        I love how F. Scott Fitzgerald mentions cutting out exclamation marks, as they are like laughing at your own jokes. And then what does Neil Gaiman say? “Laugh at your own jokes.” Ha!

  2. I know, I saw that too. But I think Neil may mean just laugh to yourself, not in the text, so they are on the same page. I was a child shut in, had a mean thyroid illness that keep me down for years as a teen. Lots and lots of reading time. As an adult I have less time to read but still love it. Though, not so strangely, if I spend too long at it, I get depressed big time. I guess the body still remembers the enforced isolation in a way that never quite disappears.

    • Jess Smart Smiley says:

      Wow. That sounds like a rough childhood. I know that I did most of my traveling via books when I was a boy and teenager, and can really get lost in life if I stop reading for a time. I hope things are better for you now. Jeesh!

      • Oh, yes, much better now. Modern medicine has made my life a whole lot easier. I am glad that folks who get the same condition I had don’t have to suffer any where near as much as I and others in the Dark Ages (early seventies) had to. I don’t dwell on it either, move on and look forward I say, especially since there are many others in far worse situations. I am grateful for my good health and happiness, and do my best to appreciate what I have.

        On another note, are you getting more excited every day of the countdown to book launch? Ha, I bet I know the answer to that one, lol.

      • Jess Smart Smiley says:

        So glad to hear it! I don’t know how people got around way back in the Dark Ages…I keep having to blow dust off my screen to uncover any research on the era 😛 Seriously though: I really admire your attitude. “Move on and look forward” is a great motto, and something I need to focus on myself. Thank you for the reminder.

        I’m kind of going bonkers, knowing my book is so close! It’s not like I’m counting the days or anything, though. I mean, it would be ridiculous to know that we’re just 40 days away from the release 😉

  3. We did have the internal combustion engine back then, unfortunately it was often housed in the proverbial ‘old lady car’. I drove a wide variety of embarrassing Darts, Fairlanes, and Impalas. My Dad was a hard core used car guy and I was always less than enthusiastic about his choices.

    As for the countdown, you WILL make it and it WILL be fabulous! Just sayin’…: )

    • Jess Smart Smiley says:

      Ha! I was really bummed when I had to get a car. I really liked my simple life on a bicycle, and still long for those days. So, did you ever get a new car of your own? Something nice to cart around those knives of yours?

      • I have a car now, a Subaru Forester. I love my bike as well, I used to ride to work every day when I lived in NYC. Across the Brooklyn Bridge twice a day, man, do I miss that. It is good to have wheels though, try carrying an anvil on a bike, no thanks, not for me : ) I still have my bike, but don’t ride it nearly enough, sigh. I keep meaning to, but somehow it still sits there scowling as I try to sneak out to the car unseen.

      • Jess Smart Smiley says:

        What? Won’t carry an anvil on your bike?! Talk about lazy 😛 Just kidding.

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