Notes from An Alien

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Writing Advice, Even from Well-Known Authors, Can Be “Dangerous” . . .

The word “dangerous” has the root meaning “power to harm”, based on the Latin dominus, “lord”.

How could advice from established authors “harm” a writer?

Primarily, I feel, by being accepted as hard and fast “rules” or “laws”.

For every “rule” in the books, some book of creative writing has successfully “broken” it :-)

Plus, I’ve weighed in a number of times here on the value and danger of writing advice

Maria Popova has been featured here a number of times and, due to her blog Brain Pickings, I’ll now give you links to a number of authors’ (and, one TV character’s) advice:

Zadie Smith’s 10 Rules of Writing

Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Tips on How to Write a Great Story

10 Tips on Writing from David Ogilvy

Henry Miller’s 11 Commandments of Writing & Daily Creative Routine

Jack Kerouac’s List of 30 Beliefs and Techniques for Prose and Life

Six Tips on Writing from John Steinbeck

Susan Sontag on Writing

Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing

What are your thoughts and feelings on “writing advice”?

What’s some of your own writing advice??
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6 responses to “Writing Advice, Even from Well-Known Authors, Can Be “Dangerous” . . .

  1. jakedp September 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Another great post Alexander! Many thanks. I find keeping a writing schedule the hardest. Between life and the different forms and ideas I want to stain paper with, well more often than not it is a blank page victorious.


    • Alexander M Zoltai September 24, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      Thanks for the encouraging comment :-)

      What I’d recommend for keeping a writing “schedule” is to not worry too much about how many days a week or hours a day one writes—try infusing your writing with Powerful Themes and the Urge To Write will power the schedule


  2. Martina Sevecke-Pohlen September 25, 2012 at 2:32 am

    Again a great post and a link to a very interesting site. What strikes me is that the advice offered there is very different from what one reads in how-to-write books, probably because it is advice by writers who write about life and not by trainers who write about writing.


  3. Pingback: More Writers On Writing | Notes from An Alien

  4. Pingback: The “Right” Way To Write ~ Writing Advice for The Brave . . . | Notes from An Alien

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