Top Tips From Famous Authors

By on October 10, 2017
Top Tips From Famous Authors - Writer's

As authors, one of the best things we can do to help ourselves is be open to learning more and more, and listen to advice from people who have 'been there and done that' already.

Writing a novel, or even a novella, or short story can take considerable effort. There can be days where we find it impossible to get motivated. There can be moments where we question our sanity. There can be times where we just get stuck and don’t know how to continue.

In these moments of panic or despair, it can often be helpful to turn to other authors for advice. If nothing else, it’s good to know that we are not alone and that even famous and successful authors have had to cope with the same struggles and problems as we have.

So if you are having a terrible writing day, never fear! Check out these top tips from famous authors to see if they can help you.

"It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way."
- Ernest Hemingway

"Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you."
- Zadie Smith

“Remember – the first draft is as bad as the book is ever going to be.”
-Emily Friendship

"In the planning stage of a book, don't plan the ending. It has to be earned by all that will go before it."
- Rose Tremain

"Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper, you can lose an idea forever."
- Will Self

"It's doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction." — Jonathan Franzen

"Interesting verbs are seldom very interesting.”
- Jonathan Franzen

"Read it aloud to yourself because that's the only way to be sure the rhythms of the sentences are OK (prose rhythms are too complex and subtle to be thought out—they can be got right only by ear)."
- Diana Athill

"Listen to the criticisms and preferences of your trusted 'first readers.'"
- Rose Tremain

"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

"Be your own editor/critic. Sympathetic but merciless!"
- Joyce Carol Oates

"Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand."
- George Orwell

“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”
- Toni Morrison

"The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator."
- Jonathan Franzen

"Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. If you have the knack of playing with exclaimers the way Tom Wolfe does, you can throw them in by the handful."
- Elmore Leonard

"The nearest I have to a rule is a Post-it on the wall in front of my desk saying ‘Faire et se taire’ (Flaubert), which I translate for myself as ‘Shut up and get on with it.’”
- Helen Simpson

“To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it.”
- Herman Melville

Remember, every single author has had a tough time with their writing at one point or another. So just keep going, and take inspiration from these powerful quotes and tips from famous authors, and you’ll soon be back on the right track.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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