101 Tips for Good Writing from Great Writers


I recently hap­pened upon this fun and highly prac­ti­cal list of tips for writ­ers. Who bet­ter to learn from than those who wrote the “clas­sics” we all read in high school and col­lege (Twain, Fitzger­ald…), as well as authors still putting out acclaimed work today (Toni Mor­ri­son made the cut, as did John Grisham, and…, and…, and…). The list runs the gamut from Plato to Mau­rice Sendak, Helen Keller to Dr. Seuss, MLK to Ray Brad­bury, and so many in between! Tips are given in cat­e­gories: Gen­eral Writ­ing, Begin­ners, Fic­tion, Poetry, Cre­ativ­ity, Learn­ing, and Liv­ing. I’ll share the first few here as a teaser; then fol­low the link to this awe­some resource for writ­ers of every stripe.

From the web­site: www​.OnlineCol​lege​.org:

Words of Wis­dom: 101 Tips from the World’s Most Famous Authors

Improve any type of writ­ing you do with these solid tips from suc­cess­ful writ­ers themselves.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.”
  3. Oscar Wilde. Be unpre­dictable. Wilde sug­gested that “con­sis­tency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.”
  4. 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.”

One Response

  1. Ita Roche Says:

    Love the 101 tips from Famous Authors. Great moti­va­tion. Lifts the Soul. Light and Laugh­ter Ita

    Report this com­ment

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