Ten Good Bits of Advice for Fiction Writers

Ten Good Bits of Advice for Fiction Writers

I am not big on self-help books or article on “how to write.” I am of the school holding that “the only rule is that there are no rules.” I’m with Hemingway; if the writer is honest and the story is well-told, it will come through to the reader. Raymond Chandler is not the same as Henry James, Don DeLillo and Jane Austin couldn’t be more different; Scott Fitzgerald and Kurt Vonnegut inhabited different universes, as did JK Rowling and Julian Barnes. Yet all of them are acclaimed as  magnificent writers and each of their styles are compelling and unforgettable. 

That’s why trying to set down one-size-fits-all rules for writers is like herding cats. Every genre, every voice and its writer have different paths. Of course, there are some basic rules of grammar and format which facilitate reading, but even these can be changed at will to suit the work of fiction. (Think James Joyce, Robert Coover, the poetry of ee cummings.)

I have recommended Stephen King’s On Writing, but that isn’t really a guide for would-be-authors as much as a philosophical discussion of what one great author believes to be well-written fiction. For an actual writer’s guide, there is only one book I have ever encountered that was worth it’s own weight, and that is How to Write Killer Fiction, by the talented mystery writer Carolyn Wheat. (Click on the preceding  red link to read my post on this helpful tome.)

I recently came across an article that on writing that is well-worth a read. It simply allows ten successful authors to reveal their approaches and practices in their own words. While it is not possible to produce quality fiction by copying the methodology of another author, writers can learn to be sharper, more productive and better focused by listening these masters. 

The article is presented by Just Publishing Advice, an online outfit that sends me tweets on a daily basis, most of which I ignore. This time the article caught my eye and after reading it, decided to share it with my friends. Hope you enjoy it and get something out of it, whether you are a writer or a reader!

Click here to read the Just Publishing Advice article 

Rudyard Kipling, Wikipedia
Virginia Woolf, Digital Monk, My Met
Stephen King, Paris Review
Margaret Mitchell, Awesome Stories

Read the Just Publishing Advice Article

See what Rudyard Kipling, Virginia Woolf, Stephen King, Margaret Mitchell and other writers say helped them move along the creative highway. 



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