Links to good writing advice I’ve been collecting


Possibly the truest thing ever said about writing:

“My writing is perfect, I don’t need an editor.”

Said no serious writer, ever.

“A to X Writing Advice,” courtesy of Random House Copy Chief & Executive Managing Editor Benjamin Dreyer. He helped with China’s Wings, and is thanked within.

I absolutely love having editors, copy editors, and fact checkers comb over my work. The world needs more of them. A lot more.

And here is Mr. Dreyer’s List of Common Mistakes. All of them very, very easy to make.

(Both on Biographile. Here’s their Craft of Writing category.

Here’s Paul Krugman’s Fantastic Advice to Everyone Who Writes at Business Insider, which, although more than a year old, is perennially relevant.

No less an authority than Ernest Hemingway serves up Seven Tips on How to Write Fiction.

(Here’s a China’s Wings outtake that features Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn, his third wife. They hung out with the CNAC gang in Hong Kong in 1941. Hemingway was so taken with the pilots that he gave them props in his novel Islands in the Stream.)

6 Tips on Reading to Train the Writer’s Eye” from Litreactor.

I consider “being a reader” to be the qualification that ever writer absolutely must have. (If you aren’t a reader, I don’t see how you can possibly compete with those who are.)

Here’s “A Simple Way to Create Suspense” from thriller author Lee Child and The New York Times.

Although I must confess that I think withholding information from readers is a cheap way to create suspense. I find suspense more genuine (and much less annoying) when the reader knows more than the characters.

Here are “Six Tips on Writing from John Steinbeck.”

And here are “6 Tips on How to be a Better Writer from Harvard Linguist and Cognitive Scientist Steven Pinker.”

What’s with the 6 tips? Are we not capable of assimilating seven at a time?

German literary critic and essayist Walter Benjamin seems to have more confidence in us. Here are his Thirteen Timeless Tidbits.

The Art of Nonfiction, an Interview with John McPhee” at The Paris Review. Long but good. And I love John McPhee.

Do you have any favorite pieces of writing advice? If so, please share them and I’ll add them to the post.

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2 Responses to Links to good writing advice I’ve been collecting

  1. Dina Howard says:

    This is great! Thanks Greg. I’m forwarding to my writing group.

  2. Melina Watts says:

    After reading his list of common mistakes? Love this man. Clone him.

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