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General Writing Tips from the Most Famous Authors

3 min read

Are you a writer? Or do you want to become a good writer? Or do you simply want some general writing tips for your book, blog articles or exams?

We have compiled tips from some of the most famous authors in the world. These valuable bits of information provide you with the guidance on and strengthen your writing skills. You will then become a better fiction writer or poet, and tap into your creativity.

General Writing Tips

Here are the 13 solid general writing tips from successful writers.

  1. Toni Morrison. Remember that writing is always about communication. “Everything I’ve ever done, in the writing world, has been to expand articulation, rather than to close it.”
  2. Anton Chekhov. Show, don’t tell. This advice comes out of most every writing class taught. Chekhov said it most clearly when he said, “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
  3. Mark Twain. Substitute “damn” every time you want to use the word “very.” Twain’s thought was that your editor would delete the “damn,” and leave the writing as it should be. The short version: eliminate using the word “very.”
  4. Maurice Sendak. Keep revising. “I never spent less than two years on the text of one of my picture books, even though each of them is approximately 380 words long. Only when the text is finished … do I begin the pictures.”
  5. .F. Scott Fitzgerald. “Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke.”
  6. Anais Nin. “The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.”
  7. Ernest Hemingway. Use short sentences and short first paragraphs. These rules were two of four given to Hemingway in his early days as a reporter–and words he lived by.
  8. EB White. Just write. The author ofCharlotte’s Web, one of the most beloved of children’s books, said that “I admire anybody who has the guts to write anything at all.”
  9. Oscar Wilde. Be unpredictable. Wilde suggested that “consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.”
  10. Samuel Johnson. Keep your writing interesting. “The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar and familiar things new.”
  11. George Orwell. Orwell offered twelve solid tips on creating strong writing, including an active voice rather than a passive one and eliminating longer words when shorter ones will work just as well.
  12. Ray Bradbury. Learn to take criticism well and discount empty praise, or as Bradbury put it, “to accept rejection and reject acceptance.”
  13. Truman Capote. Editing is as important as the writing. “I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.”
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