20 writing tips from 12 fiction authors

Use these tips as an inspirational guide

  1. Steerpike
    Came across these 20 tips (note: not rules) via a post on social media:


    What do you all think? Here are my thoughts:

    Tip 1: Agree. I think reading extensively in and out of one's genre is a huge plus.

    Tip 2: Agree, to the extent it means find a space to be alone while you are writing.

    Tip 3: Agree generally, though I wouldn't go so far as to say every work has to adhere to this.

    Tip 4: Disagree. This is work-specific, in my view. Sometimes I know the ending before I write a single word, sometimes it develops organically.

    Tip 5: Agree. This is a great idea. These days, you can use note features on a phone.

    Tip 6: Agree generally, to the extent they simply mean internet connections are a distraction. I sometimes use a distraction-free text editor that won't let you open another window while it is open, so no surfing.

    Tip 7: This seems like a somewhat obtuse, "aren't I a serious writer" statement meant to sound deeper than it is. That's about all I can say about it.

    Tip 8: Agree.

    Tip 9: Qualified agreement. Sometimes, you want to tell, but speaking in broad terms I'll go with Chekhov here.

    Tip 10: Agree. If you aren't going to listen to them, it's pointless to have them. Note that listen doesn't necessarily mean adopt their suggestions.

    Tip 11: Disagree. More high-brow drivel from Franzen, which doesn't astound me.

    Tip 12: Agree that one should not panic. I keep on my desk a pair of Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses to don if looking at my work starts to panic me.

    Tip 13: Agree in part. That's not the entirety of your existence, but the act of writing is solitary. These days, things like internet forums make it a less solitary life.

    Tip 14: Agree. But don't be your only editor/critic. Other people will see what you don't.

    Tip 15: OK, Franzen, I'm willing to go along with that one.

    Tip 16: I think Leonard is being a bit tongue-in-cheek here in terms of an absolute count, but I agree with the sentiment. Manuscripts littered with exclamation marks become comical and lose urgency because of it.

    Tip 17: Agreed. This is an important thing for people to learn when it comes to beta readers and critiquers.

    Tip 18: Disagree. This is specific to the individual. You can't make a generalization to all writers.

    Tip 19: Agree completely.

    Tip 20: Nothing to really agree or disagree with here, but I like the sentiments of the Post-It.