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The Best Writing Advice From Famous Authors

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There are lots of “writing rules” around from well-known authors, and I thought it would be useful to bring them together in one list. I’m sure I’ve missed some, so feel free to make suggestions! Here is, as far as I can tell, a collection of The Best Writing Advice From Famous Authors:

Writing Tips by Henry Miller, Elmore Leonard, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman & George Orwell is from Open Culture.

John Steinbeck’s 6 Writing Tips Ten rules for writing fiction is from The Guardian.

The Guardian also has a Rules for writers series.

“Fumblerules Of Grammar” comes from William Safire.

Heinlein’s Rules

C.S. Lewis on WritingKurt Vonnegut’s 8 Tips on How to Write a Great Story 6 Rules for a Great Story from Barnaby Conrad and Snoopy is from Brain Pickings. How to Write is a very engaging New York Times piece by author Colson Whitehead that’s funny and informative.

Writing Rules! Advice From The Times on Writing Well is from The New York Times Learning Network.

A Simple Way to Create Suspense offers great writing advice from author Lee Child.

George Orwell on writing is from The Economist. It elaborates and offers some commentary on it, as well.

Advice For Scientists Who Want To Write For The Public is not written by a famous writer, but it’s still good and I’m putting it on this list for now.

Story notes #2 — Begin in the middle fits in the same category — good advice, but not by a famous writer.

What One of the World’s Great Novelists Learned About Writing from David Ogilvy is from CopyBlogger, and shares some thoughts from Salman Rushdie.

John Grisham’s Do’s and Don’ts for Writing Popular Fiction is from The New York Times.

James Baldwin’s Advice on Writing is from Brain Pickings.

How to Write Like James Comey is from Life Hacker.

Feedback is welcome.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

One Comment

  1. I used to read James Kilpatrick’s column for years – The Writer’s Art. Back in the mid 80s to 90s when working at local newspapers as a reporter and editor, especially with feature stories, columns, or editorials — my foremost thought was always to imagine the audience of readers, write like you talk for 1st draft, then edit to eliminate passive verbs – make them active and write in present tense if at all possible. 😉

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