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(Buzzfeed)   30 indispensable writing tips from famous authors, after you've figured out "all you have to do is start writing, finish writing, and make sure it's good"   (buzzfeed.com) divider line 57
    More: Spiffy, leonard, Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, Carlos Manuel Arana Osorio, BuzzFeed  
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3666 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 18 Aug 2012 at 9:26 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-18 09:20:38 AM
Thank you Subby, this is relevant to my interests.
 
2012-08-18 09:30:26 AM
So to be a writer you have to sound as pretenrious and douchey as possible. Got it.
 
2012-08-18 09:31:45 AM
I mean pretentious. My damn phone has no spell check.
 
2012-08-18 09:37:26 AM

Wolf892: I mean pretentious. My damn phone has no spell check.


I find pretenriousness to be the quintessential factor for instupitiuous writing. How else can one deftly construct frazzmultuous prose?
 
2012-08-18 09:38:15 AM
Ones that didn't make the cut-

"Write out an outline and have ghost writers flesh it out."
-Tom Clancy

"I hate to advocate writing anything that appeals primarily to high school and first year college students, but it always worked to me."
-Hunter Thompson

"When writing about zombies, try to bring something new to the table. In my newest kickstarter, I put forth the idea that zombies can be powered by steam."
-your douchey friend that keeps emailing his terrible fantasy crap to you

Wolf892: So to be a writer you have to sound as pretenrious and douchey as possible. Got it.


It's kind of a thing you get to do when you are good with words. Don't feel threatened by the big ones. They won't hurt you.
 
2012-08-18 09:41:52 AM
It would seem like the one important writing tip is to hire the most expensive agent you can afford. Spend the money for a shark and any of your crap can get published. Or do it yourself with these new fangled e-thingies.
 
2012-08-18 09:44:44 AM
The first Neil Gaiman quote is one of the best pieces of advice I've ever heard when it comes to getting input on the creative process (not just writing) and he's absolutely right.
 
2012-08-18 10:04:17 AM
Wow.... George Orwell would be such a contrarian these days.

Has anyone checked to make sure Stephen King isn't a psychopath?

I normally go out and do what passes for work on Saturdays but this week there's a disruption due to a sale. I might just stay home and work on a piece of non-fiction I want to get substantial and persistent royalties from.
 
2012-08-18 10:28:05 AM
Talentless is as talentless does.
 
2012-08-18 10:31:02 AM

gadian: It would seem like the one important writing tip is to hire the most expensive agent you can afford. Spend the money for a shark and any of your crap can get published.


That's not how agents work. You may pay your agent, but you don't get to just pick one and say, "You!" The struggle to get an agent is little different than the struggle to get published. They get dozens of submissions every day from people who want representation, and only ever end up selecting a sparse few. The vast, vast majority are rejected.

So unless you're already famous, you can't just go out and "hire the most expensive agent you can afford." Doesn't work that way. They're going to represent you based on your work, how marketable it is, how sellable it is, and whether it fits with what they represent. (Besides, agents make a standard fee, anyway.)
 
2012-08-18 10:33:41 AM
One of my favorite quotes:
You most likely need a thesaurus, a rudimentary grammar book, and a grip on reality. This latter means: there's no free lunch. Writing is work. It's also gambling. You don't get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but essentially you're on your own. Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don't whine.- Margaret Atwood
 
2012-08-18 10:35:00 AM
From Neil Gaiman
1. Write.
2. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
3. Finish what you're writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
4. Put it aside. Read it pretending you've never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
5. Remember: when people tell you something's wrong or doesn't work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
6. Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
7. Laugh at your own jokes.
8. The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you're allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it's definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter
 
2012-08-18 10:35:45 AM

SockMonkeyHolocaust: Ones that didn't make the cut-

"Write out an outline and have ghost writers flesh it out."
-Tom Clancy

"I hate to advocate writing anything that appeals primarily to high school and first year college students, but it always worked to me."
-Hunter Thompson

"When writing about zombies, try to bring something new to the table. In my newest kickstarter, I put forth the idea that zombies can be powered by steam."
-your douchey friend that keeps emailing his terrible fantasy crap to you

Wolf892: So to be a writer you have to sound as pretenrious and douchey as possible. Got it.

It's kind of a thing you get to do when you are good with words. Don't feel threatened by the big ones. They won't hurt you.


Oh come on, "writing is easy, you just sit at a typewriter and bleed" that kind of metaphore stinks of high school purple prose. I'd blush trying to say something that melodramatic
 
2012-08-18 10:52:50 AM

Wolf892: I mean pretentious. My damn phone has no spell check.


To be fair, neither does Buzzfeed:
Ralph Waldo Emmerson
Ray Branbury
 
2012-08-18 10:54:05 AM
Very good stuff Subby...With the possible exceptions of the "advice" from Gertrude Stein, Toni Morrison, and Maya Angelou.
 
2012-08-18 10:54:56 AM

Wolf892: SockMonkeyHolocaust: Ones that didn't make the cut-

"Write out an outline and have ghost writers flesh it out."
-Tom Clancy

"I hate to advocate writing anything that appeals primarily to high school and first year college students, but it always worked to me."
-Hunter Thompson

"When writing about zombies, try to bring something new to the table. In my newest kickstarter, I put forth the idea that zombies can be powered by steam."
-your douchey friend that keeps emailing his terrible fantasy crap to you

Wolf892: So to be a writer you have to sound as pretenrious and douchey as possible. Got it.

It's kind of a thing you get to do when you are good with words. Don't feel threatened by the big ones. They won't hurt you.

Oh come on, "writing is easy, you just sit at a typewriter and bleed" that kind of metaphore stinks of high school purple prose. I'd blush trying to say something that melodramatic


Well, you've wrapped up the "guy who is above the subject of the thread" role. Waiting now for the "turn the original subject of the thread into a political flamewar guy."

/Fark archetypes
 
2012-08-18 10:55:51 AM

Wolf892: SockMonkeyHolocaust: Ones that didn't make the cut-

"Write out an outline and have ghost writers flesh it out."
-Tom Clancy

"I hate to advocate writing anything that appeals primarily to high school and first year college students, but it always worked to me."
-Hunter Thompson

"When writing about zombies, try to bring something new to the table. In my newest kickstarter, I put forth the idea that zombies can be powered by steam."
-your douchey friend that keeps emailing his terrible fantasy crap to you

Wolf892: So to be a writer you have to sound as pretenrious and douchey as possible. Got it.

It's kind of a thing you get to do when you are good with words. Don't feel threatened by the big ones. They won't hurt you.

Oh come on, "writing is easy, you just sit at a typewriter and bleed" that kind of metaphore stinks of high school purple prose. I'd blush trying to say something that melodramatic


And they misattributed it to Hemingway, one of the few writers who's not on the list of people who they think actually said it.

Link 

The version of the quote I was familiar with was "Writing is easy. You just open a vein and bleed on the page."
 
2012-08-18 11:13:29 AM

dosboot: Very good stuff Subby...With the possible exceptions of the "advice" from Gertrude Stein, Toni Morrison, and Maya Angelou.


Morrison's quote in #4 encompassed exactly the sort of thing a great fiction writer should be able to do.

Maya Angelou's in #13 is good, too. Too many aspiring writing sit around waiting for "inspiration." They can only write when they feel inspired, but that's a crutch and nothing more. If you want to write, you sit down and write. You may not feel "inspired" today, but you write anyway. You may not be feeling it, but you write anyway. Tomorrow, it may click. If so, great. In the meantime, you write anyway.
 
2012-08-18 11:13:34 AM

Wolf892:

Oh come on, "writing is easy, you just sit at a typewriter and bleed" that kind of metaphore stinks of high school purple prose. I'd blush trying to say something that melodramatic


Ordinarily I would agree with you, except a lot of these writers come from our culture before the seismic shift into primarily communicating with images. It's a little Sylvie Plath, sure, but as long as someone completely laughable like David Eggers or any of the number of bad sci fi/fantasy authors that post on Fark aren't saying it then it's a justified mentality. Wil Wheaton or Nathan Rabin making a post about bleeding for his art? No. That's pretentious. Guy who actually contributed to the American lit canon? Sure why not.
 
2012-08-18 11:22:45 AM
Tip #31 Always edit what you wrote while drunk. You'll find you're a much better writer than you initially thought.
Tip #32 Don't read what you edited when you are sober. You'll find you're a terrible editor.
 
2012-08-18 11:24:30 AM
The comment section for that list make me weep for future of humanity. Mostly because I'm a white male and it makes me feel like there is some wave of "white male genocide" coming in the near future. Who the fark reads a "Top x List" and starts counting how many entries are male and female? Black and white? What the hell is wrong with people?

/Rant
//Now with 100% more correct-thread goodness
 
2012-08-18 11:25:48 AM
Gertrude Stein: thanks for nothin'.

/Always thought the best advice was to write everyday, take a break if needed.
 
2012-08-18 11:27:08 AM
This list fails big without Hemingway's most applicable quote:

"Write drunk; edit sober."
 
2012-08-18 11:36:32 AM
1. Douchey.
2. Douchey.
3. Good, but a douchey way of saying it.
4. DOUCHEY.
5. Kind of Strunk and Whitey, but ok.
6. Good for the first draft, perhaps. But douchey.
7. ???
8. Very good.
9. Douchey. Realistic, but douchey.
10. Correct, but a douchey way of saying it.
11. Too broad to be "advice for writers", isn't it? Douchey goes to the article-writer.
12. Kind of right, although overly broad.
13. OH MY GOD SO DOUCHEY.
14. Good for you. Douchey
15. Correct. Not really profound. Douchey here goes to the article-writer again.
16. This is one reason of many why this 19th Century man will be remembered when most 20th and 21st Century men are forgotten.
17. Oh my lord. Douchetastic.
18. Yeah alright. Kind of a personal comment about style, though.
19. Practical, but obvious...?
20. Drowning in douche by the second line.
21. Bold. Deserves response.
22. Might be right. Still douchey, though.
23. Douchey.
24. Practical.
25. OH SO CLEVER.
26. AHARHAR LOOK AT YOU.
27. Douchey-douche-douche is douche-douchey.
28. Oh wow, hey. What about that?
29. WOW ARTICLE-WRITER WE SAW WHAT YOU DID THERE!
30. WOW ARTICLE-WRITER WE SAW WHAT YOU DID THERE! (Part 2, the Douchening)
 
2012-08-18 11:42:24 AM
Please read "douchey" as "dooshy" and not "dow-chee". That would be unfortunate.
 
2012-08-18 12:00:53 PM

shoegaze99: You may not be feeling it, but you write anyway.


www.gpb.org

agrees

SockMonkeyHolocaust: someone completely laughable like David Eggers


"Zeitoun" is pretty damn good and highly disturbing.
 
2012-08-18 12:02:58 PM
Or, you could skip this article and simply pick up a copy of "On Writing" by Stephen King. It's an excellent guide for authors.
 
2012-08-18 12:09:16 PM
Why does Stephen King keep getting credit for the "kill your darlings" when that's been around so long no one is sure who said it first?

By the way...check my bio for my blog...which leads to my novels on Amazon...which proves I am shameless.
 
2012-08-18 12:14:40 PM

thisisyourbrainonFark: shoegaze99: You may not be feeling it, but you write anyway.

www.gpb.org

agrees



Stupid.
 
2012-08-18 12:18:26 PM

shoegaze99: thisisyourbrainonFark: shoegaze99: You may not be feeling it, but you write anyway.

www.gpb.org

agrees


Stupid.


disagrees
 
2012-08-18 12:38:34 PM

aendeuryu: 1. Douchey.
2. Douchey.
3. Good, but a douchey way of saying it.
4. DOUCHEY.
5. Kind of Strunk and Whitey, but ok.
6. Good for the first draft, perhaps. But douchey.
7. ???
8. Very good.
9. Douchey. Realistic, but douchey.
10. Correct, but a douchey way of saying it.
11. Too broad to be "advice for writers", isn't it? Douchey goes to the article-writer.
12. Kind of right, although overly broad.
13. OH MY GOD SO DOUCHEY.
14. Good for you. Douchey
15. Correct. Not really profound. Douchey here goes to the article-writer again.
16. This is one reason of many why this 19th Century man will be remembered when most 20th and 21st Century men are forgotten.
17. Oh my lord. Douchetastic.
18. Yeah alright. Kind of a personal comment about style, though.
19. Practical, but obvious...?
20. Drowning in douche by the second line.
21. Bold. Deserves response.
22. Might be right. Still douchey, though.
23. Douchey.
24. Practical.
25. OH SO CLEVER.
26. AHARHAR LOOK AT YOU.
27. Douchey-douche-douche is douche-douchey.
28. Oh wow, hey. What about that?
29. WOW ARTICLE-WRITER WE SAW WHAT YOU DID THERE!
30. WOW ARTICLE-WRITER WE SAW WHAT YOU DID THERE! (Part 2, the Douchening)



Not to be a douche, but just curious... Do your students learn the word "douche" on day one and is it then the focus of the entire first semester?
 
2012-08-18 01:22:40 PM

wildcardjack: I might just stay home and work on a piece of non-fiction I want to get substantial and persistent royalties from.


i3.kym-cdn.com
 
2012-08-18 01:42:13 PM

Epicfarker: wildcardjack: I might just stay home and work on a piece of non-fiction I want to get substantial and persistent royalties from.

i3.kym-cdn.com


Okay, I'll bite. I don't get it. Why the "oh, you?"
 
2012-08-18 02:01:25 PM
I'm a coward when it comes to writing.

/Not that anyone cares.
 
2012-08-18 02:09:19 PM
Great compilation,although I'd hoped to see some sage advice from Dean Koontz,Jeffery Deaver and perhaps the most celebrated scribe in history,E. L. James!*

*Which would probably along the lines of "Whenever possible,utilize poorly written fiction of your idol as your inspiration,with generous dollops of exclamations to emphasize your protagonist's odyssey".
 
2012-08-18 04:30:45 PM

dosboot: Very good stuff Subby...With the possible exceptions of the "advice" from Gertrude Stein, Toni Morrison, and Maya Angelou.


Maya always sounds, to me, like a brighter than average mind frantically fending off insecurity. And Toni's 'Beloved' sucked. I had to read that shiate in college. Then we read E. Annie's 'The Shipping News' and all was right in the world.
 
2012-08-18 04:40:43 PM

Marshal805: I'm a coward when it comes to writing.

/Not that anyone cares.


It was courageous of you to admit.
 
2012-08-18 04:42:07 PM

Ready-set: dosboot: Very good stuff Subby...With the possible exceptions of the "advice" from Gertrude Stein, Toni Morrison, and Maya Angelou.

Maya always sounds, to me, like a brighter than average mind frantically fending off insecurity. And Toni's 'Beloved' sucked. I had to read that shiate in college. Then we read E. Annie's 'The Shipping News' and all was right in the world.


http://badassdigest.com/2011/11/03/film-crit-hulk-smash-never-hate-a- m ovie/

Or a book.
 
2012-08-18 05:07:07 PM

shoegaze99: Epicfarker: wildcardjack: I might just stay home and work on a piece of non-fiction I want to get substantial and persistent royalties from.

i3.kym-cdn.com

Okay, I'll bite. I don't get it. Why the "oh, you?"


I was wondering that.
 
2012-08-18 05:10:29 PM

Ernie the Fork: Marshal805: I'm a coward when it comes to writing.

/Not that anyone cares.

It was courageous of you to admit.


Well it's not so much the writing that takes courage. It's the part where you let/ask other people read it. That is pure ballsiness.
 
2012-08-18 05:14:00 PM

Ernie the Fork: Ready-set: dosboot: Very good stuff Subby...With the possible exceptions of the "advice" from Gertrude Stein, Toni Morrison, and Maya Angelou.

Maya always sounds, to me, like a brighter than average mind frantically fending off insecurity. And Toni's 'Beloved' sucked. I had to read that shiate in college. Then we read E. Annie's 'The Shipping News' and all was right in the world.

http://badassdigest.com/2011/11/03/film-crit-hulk-smash-never-hate-a- m ovie/

Or a book.


Or wtf?

Not understanding this, I won't suggest Ernie go fork himself. That would be wrong-o. Welcome to opinionville.
 
2012-08-18 05:21:06 PM

shoegaze99: Epicfarker: wildcardjack: I might just stay home and work on a piece of non-fiction I want to get substantial and persistent royalties from.

i3.kym-cdn.com

Okay, I'll bite. I don't get it. Why the "oh, you?"


I'm thinking the joke may be that traditionally, non-fiction didin't sell, but that's less and less true these days.
 
2012-08-18 05:27:02 PM
Or it may be the fact that WildCardJack is a used book dealer, which means he makes his living buying and selling books without paying royalties to the authors, as they've already been paid (some greedy authors think they should make money every time a copy of one of the books is sold, no matter how old it is).
 
2012-08-18 05:30:27 PM
The quotes were good but the presentation gave me the inspirational office poster heebie jeebies.
 
2012-08-18 05:45:24 PM

Dwight_Yeast: I'm thinking the joke may be that traditionally, non-fiction didin't sell, but that's less and less true these days.


I guess that could be it, sure. Plus, some nonfiction is work-for-hire where the author owns no rights to the work and gets no royalties, so I thought maybe it was a reference to that. I've done both. Got a royalty check on Thursday for a NF book. Have also written NF books where I was paid up front to do the work and make no royalties on the work, no matter how successful the book.

Dwight_Yeast: Or it may be the fact that WildCardJack is a used book dealer, which means he makes his living buying and selling books without paying royalties to the authors, as they've already been paid (some greedy authors think they should make money every time a copy of one of the books is sold, no matter how old it is).


That sure would be subtle if that was what Epicfarker was referencing. if so, nice. I never would have caught that.
 
2012-08-18 05:59:58 PM

Ready-set: Ernie the Fork: Ready-set: dosboot: Very good stuff Subby...With the possible exceptions of the "advice" from Gertrude Stein, Toni Morrison, and Maya Angelou.

Maya always sounds, to me, like a brighter than average mind frantically fending off insecurity. And Toni's 'Beloved' sucked. I had to read that shiate in college. Then we read E. Annie's 'The Shipping News' and all was right in the world.

http://badassdigest.com/2011/11/03/film-crit-hulk-smash-never-hate-a- m ovie/

Or a book.

Or wtf?

Not understanding this, I won't suggest Ernie go fork himself. That would be wrong-o. Welcome to opinionville.


You said you hated "Beloved." I was offering a link where Quentin Tarrantino changed a movie reviewer's mind about ever thinking they hated a movie. Thought it might be interesting to you.

I'll still go fork myself. It is Saturday, after all.
 
2012-08-18 06:02:38 PM

Mateorocks: The quotes were good but the presentation gave me the inspirational office poster heebie jeebies.


Hang in there, kitty!
 
2012-08-18 06:12:11 PM
if you are a writer who is diagnosed with mental illness be aware that the meds they put you on may change you more than you could imagine. IMHO giving up who you are, your imagination and that special spark that is you - it isn't worth it. the medication makes you a different person. having been diagnosed ill and later supposedly well, i will take mentally ill, being a drunk or a drug user over being ruined by prescription pharmaceutical medication. my fight for good mental health ruined the one thing i was good at. yes i'm a little bitter.
 
2012-08-18 07:43:27 PM

wildcardjack: Has anyone checked to make sure Stephen King isn't a psychopath?


"Misery" convinced me that he should be watched 24-7. That book was like reading a once-in-a-lifetime toothache.
 
2012-08-18 07:48:09 PM

Ernie the Fork: Why does Stephen King keep getting credit for the "kill your darlings" when that's been around so long no one is sure who said it first?

By the way...check my bio for my blog...which leads to my novels on Amazon...which proves I am shameless.


Farkers only do that if you have pancake titties and love to send pics of them out via email.
 
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