Article Title: Sharing Some Writing Tips (based on Interviews with some Famous American Writers - Updated)
Submitted by: Craig Lock
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Category (key words): Writing, Creative Writing, Writing Hints/Tips
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"We share what we know, so that others may grow."

Sharing Some Writing Tips (based on Interviews with some Famous American Writers)

"I never had any doubts about my abilities. I knew I could write.
I just had to figure out how to eat while doing this."
- Cormac McCarthy

This article was based on some interviews with famous American
writers and is written in point form, from notes that I've
taken from some excellent books (see Author's Note at end)...

I believe that anyone with a little talent can become a writer,
look at what Judith Krantz has achieved. It's not so hard to write,
the trick is staying a writer, day after day, month after month,
year after year. A single book doesn't make a writer - but the
totality of one's work does.

NB: Always write to please yourself. I have to write - write from
the heart, the gut.

James Michener only started writing at the age of 40. He thinks
as he walks. Think about the next days writing in advance.

In fiction, SHOW rather than tell. The way you learn to write is
to write. Practice makes "purrfect"...and that's how good writers
perfect their craft. Read a lot: novels, fiction - that's how you
learn to write well. Rewrite and re-write, which is "fine tuning"
your story. It's like polishing a fine gem from a rough stone.

Ernest Hemingway: "There is no sense in writing anything that has
been written before...unless you can beat it."

"Work every day - no matter what has happened the day or night
before. Stop when you're writing well. Then you'll never get
- Ernest Hemingway

The human mind works subconsciously, while you are relaxing. If
you worry, your brain gets tired.
Concentration and focus, I believe, is the key to writing

"If you write a hundred short stories, and they are
all bad, that doesn't mean you've failed. You fail only if you
stop writing."
- Ray Bradbury

Erica Jong: The theme running through all of her books is the
quest for self knowledge. Van Goch only sold one picture in his
lifetime - to his brother! Hope for me then!

(getting from point A to point B) and THEME are important here;
but the key element in fiction is CHARACTER. It makes the people
come alive; so that THEY tell the story. So write visually.

Joseph Wambaugh (author of The Onion Field) said: "There
are writers around with more talent than I; but there are none
more DISCIPLINED than I."

Wambaugh sets a goal of writing at least 1000 words a day. If an
emergency stops him, he writes 2000 words the next day.
Irving Stone on how to write:

1. Dramatize
2. Use plenty of dialogue
3. Bring your characters to life
4. Use anecdotes and humour.
In summary...
Writing for me is a mixture of TALENT and DISCIPLINE. Perservere
and stick with it - no matter what.

I don't believe one can
be taught to write; but you can be taught to communicate. If you
can't take the criticism, you're not a writer. The "crit" may
read a book in 2 or 3 days and not get into it; because
critiquing is so subjective.

* PUSH yourself daily. Develop good writing habits.
* STICK WITH IT - DISCIPLINE is the key here. Then,
* TRUST in your ability.

I'm much more into practice than theory, but regard creative writing as "fully using one's 'creatitivity' through the creative imagination (subconscious mind) in putting words to paper to tell a tale, or attempting to get a message or moral through to one's readers."

Finally... Just be the very best you can be... and live your
writing, as well as your life dreams.

Happy writing and enjoy the journey.

Craig Lock

All proceeds go to needy and underprivilileged children - MINE!

Author's Note: This article was based on a number of excellent
books on writing: 'Write and Be Published' by Anna Rogers, 'The
New Zealand Writer's Handbook' by John Parsons, and 'On being a
writer', edited by Bill Strickland.

These three excellent books were a great help to me early in my
writing career. I'm sharing this piece in the spirit of helping
aspiring* writers. I hope the above information may be helpful to
you in writing creatively.
The "original" online creative writing course.
15 entertaining lessons by a prolific author.
Learn the craft of writing and have fun at the same time.

All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children - MINE

* What's the definition of an aspiring writer?
A waiter!

"It took me 15 years to find out that I had no talent for writing,
but by then I couldn't give it up, because by then I was too famous to give up."
- Robert Benchley

"The world would have you agree with its dismal dream of
limitation. But the light would have you soar like the eagle of your sacred visions."
- Alan Cohen


"If you have knowledge, let others light a candle to it."
- Margaret Fuller

That's a metaphor, btw!

Author's Bio:
The "original" online creative writing course.
15 entertaining lessons by a prolific author.
Learn the craft of writing and have fun at the same time.

All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children - MINE