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Tips from famous writers about writing - Part II


1. Write only when you have something to say. - David Hare

2. If you want to be a writer,you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. - Stephen King.

3. I constantly retype my own sentences. Every day I go back to page one and just retype what I have. It gets me into a rhythm. — Joan Didion

4. Do be kind to yourself. Fill pages as quickly as possible; double space, or write on every second line. Regard every new page as a small triumph - Roddy Doyle

5. Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. - Anne Lamott

6. A problem with a piece of writing often clarifies itself if you go for a long walk. - Helen Dunmore

7. The hardest part is believing in yourself at the notebook stage. It is like believing in dreams in the morning. – Erica Jong

8. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue. The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But "said" is far less intrusive than "grumbled", "gasped", "cautioned", "lied". I once noticed Mary McCarthy ending a line of dialogue with "she asseverated" and had to stop reading and go to the dictionary.- Elmore Leonard

9. Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college. – Kurt Vonnegut

10.Have more than one idea on the go at any one time. If it's a choice between writing a book and doing nothing I will always choose the latter. It's only if I have an idea for two books that I choose one rather than the other. I ­always have to feel that I'm bunking off from something. - Geoff Dyer

Go back to Part I

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