I came across writing advice on the Guardian and few weeks ago. I selected a few of my favorites that I’ll share with you now. I should note that just because I love the advice doesn’t mean I’ll follow it, it just means I’ll want to follow it.
Elmore Leonard: 10 Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. Think of what you skip reading a novel: thick paragraphs of prose you can see have too many words in them.
Margaret Atwood: 8 You can never read your own book with the innocent anticipation that comes with that first delicious page of a new book, because you wrote the thing. You’ve been backstage. You’ve seen how the rabbits were smuggled into the hat. Therefore ask a reading friend or two to look at it before you give it to anyone in the publishing business. This friend should not be someone with whom you have a romantic relationship, unless you want to break up.
Roddy Doyle: 5 Do restrict your browsing to a few websites a day. Don’t go near the online bookies – unless it’s research. (Yes, that’s what I’ll call it: research.)
Geoff Dyer: 9 Do it every day. Make a habit of putting your observations into words and gradually this will become instinct. This is the most important rule of all and, naturally, I don’t follow it. (me neither)
Richard Ford: 6 Don’t drink and write at the same time. (and never blog under the influence. the superfluous descriptions of how much you love everything aren’t as grand in the morning.)
Jonathan Franzen: 8 It’s doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction. (hmmm, keep pounding this message, maybe I’ll get it.)
9 Interesting verbs are seldom very interesting.
Esther Freud: 6 Trust your reader. Not everything needs to be explained. If you really know something, and breathe life into it, they’ll know it too.
Will Self: 8 The writing life is essentially one of solitary confinement – if you can’t deal with this you needn’t apply.
Zadie Smith: 7 Work on a computer that is disconnected from the internet. (Okay, already)
Michael Moorcock: 10 Ignore all proferred rules and create your own, suitable for what you want to say. (Ignore all rules? Now you’ve got my attention.)
There was a lot more advice than what you see here. Do you have advice or words you live by?