Tag Archives: writing tips

Treasure trove of tips on writing

Buried within all the trash-squawking and self-promotion on Twitter are some absolute gems. One of the best Twitter feeds I’ve found if you have a creative bent, write or simply enjoy the beautiful and unusual, comes from @brainpicker.

Tweets from @brainpicker point to the Brain Pickings website edited/curated by Maria Popova, an “interestingness hunter-gatherer and curious mind at large”. What a brilliant job description. Every creative writer should aspire to something similar. If you’re not curious and actively seeking the interesting, you’re unlikely to be finding tales that people will want to read.

I’m late to the Brain Pickings party so you may have read their treasure trove of tips on writing already. Even if this is the case, they’re worth revisiting.

You can find 8 great tips from Kurt Vonnegut here. I particularly liked #5.

Zadie Smith’s 10 Rules of Writing can be found here. I have #1 covered but need to work on the rest.

Neil Gaiman’s 8 simple (but not easy) tips are here.

Incidentally, while I’m on writing tips, several wordly friends have referred me to Stephen King’s On Writing. I’d already downloaded the sample chapters but must get to the rest.

And if you’re cool with writing tips being as blunt and brutal as a Deadwood script (but funnier), check out Chuck Wendig’s 250 Things You Should Know About Writing.

After a prolonged word drought, I’m back to yarn spinning and telling tall tales. I’m at Neil Gaiman’s rule #2: “Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.”

That feels like progress.

Stuff writers should do

A couple of weeks back I posted on stuff writers shouldn’t do. It can be a tad confronting to hear what readers hate – until you remember you’re a reader and agree with many of the comments.

Now, thanks to the eagle eyes of the delightful Kirsty Murray, here’s a terrific list of things writers should do. Compiled by the UK’s Guardian newspaper, theses tips contain the wisdom, humour and brutal honesty of some very successful authors. Pure gold.

Maybe I should have the list tattooed down my forearm…

Incidentally, for the Twitterers out there, you can follow Kirsty via @kirstymurray and the Guardian via @GuardianBooks.

Stuff writers shouldn’t do

Here’s a list of stuff that writers shouldn’t do.

I’m a true believer in relation to the first #2. Some of the other points scare me.

That said, all readers are different and these are readers’ preferences rather than set-in-stone rules for writers. Some good advice there, nonetheless.

And I am glad to be reminded of the Royal Tenenbaums, which is polarising but a long-time favourite at my place. Here’s some sample dialogue:

Eli: I’m not in love with you any more.
Margot: I didn’t know that you ever were.
Eli: Let’s not make this any more difficult than it already is.